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Omicron booster is step toward Covid 'normalcy'

booster shot covid vaccine vaccination
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Heads up: A new booster shot, updated for omicron, is here.

UW Medicine's Dr. Shireesha Dhanireddy spoke to Seattle Now about how this vaccine booster is different and when you should try to schedule an appointment to get it.

"The original boosters are really just the same vaccine that we had been getting for the original series, just to give an additional dose to improve that immunity that may have waned," Dr. Dhanireddy said. "This vaccine is a little different in that it contains the original strain... but it also contains the newer variants."

Dr. Dhanireddy says that we are in a different phase of the pandemic, with fewer hospitalizations, though some people were still hospitalized during the omicron wave. Vaccinated individuals notably held up against the virus far better than unvaccinated people. Dhanireddy says that we could be heading into a situation similar to the flu, which has routine vaccines updated each year.

"We are not quite there in terms of yearly vaccines for Covid, but we are edging toward that kind of normalcy with Covid, and thinking of this first round of reworked vaccines in that way," Dr. Dhanireddy said.

"This is still an important disease we are dealing with," she added. "The sheer numbers of people who were infected in this last wave is staggering and we still can do our part by getting these vaccines, keeping ourselves protected, keeping out community protected."

Listen to Dr. Dhanireddy's full conversation here.

Also, KUOW's Kate Walters spoke with the Soundside team about the rollout of the new booster shots in King County and what to expect if you are trying to get one.

Why you can trust KUOW