Looking to get a COVID booster? Now’s the perfect time

KBTX First News at Four(Recurring)
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - With the arrival of the new COVID-19 bivalent boosters and questions swirling about what is ahead for the fall and winter season, Dr. Kia Parsi, the Chief Medical Officer at St. Joseph Health, joined First News at Four to clear up some of these questions.

According to Dr. Parsi, right now the COVID numbers in Brazos County look “pretty good” but he warns that this could change.

“There is a concern, especially with our annual flu season. Having a one-two combination of a flu season plus a spike in COVID cases could have some significant, significant effects on our population,” said Parsi.

He explained that, like the flu, COVID seems to replicate more when people are indoors during the winter months. Because of this, Parsi recommends people get their COVID boosters and flu vaccines right now.

Read here on what the CDC considers up to date on COVID vaccines for each age group.

People can talk with their primary care physician about the risks versus the benefits of receiving the booster.

Although Parsi points out, “the vaccines that we have available to us now have been researched now and given to millions of people, and the booster is as safe or safer than any of the other vaccines for COVID-19 that we have had available to us.”

Like with the flu, there are different variants of COVID. When someone gets a flu shot, there is a prediction of what types of variants are most likely to cause infection, and the same is done with the updated COVID boosters.

Parsi stressed the importance of the bivalent booster to help the immune system prepare for exposure to the new variants of COVID-19.

The bivalent vaccines include a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID and a component of the omicron variant to provide better protection against COVID caused by the omicron variant.

Read more about the bivalent boosters on the FDA’s website.

Watch the full interview in the player above.