PORTSMOUTH, Va. ( WAVY) — As those long days on the beach are in short supply, health officials say this is a good time to make plans to tackle the coronavirus infections which typically spike when we move indoors.
Let’s start with names you know. Pfizer and Moderna are changing their formulas to offer a better response to two Omicron subvariants.
“They[the subvariants] appear to be much better at evading immunity either from prior infection or immunity from vaccines,” said Cindy Williams who is the Chief Pharmacy Officer for Riverside Health.
And now to a name you may not know. Novavax is the new vaccine on the block that was made with old technology.
“This vaccine, because it’s based on a technology we’ve used over the last 30 years for flu vaccine Hepatitis B vaccines, I think there are more individuals who are comfortable with it,” said Williams.
And, Williams says research shows Novavax is better at taking on those stubborn new subvariants.
“The Novavax, even without modifications specific for omicron, is actually showing better coverage for Omicron in a booster situation than our existing mRNA vaccine based on data presented to the CDC last week.
And, Novavax could become your booster of the future.
“Is there a place for Novavax as a booster in a mix and match scenario? That’s already approved in Australia for adult individuals. I think: standby, Novavax may be of interest for a booster- it’s not yet authorized, but it is something the FDA and the CDC may consider in the upcoming weeks. In addition to the new vaccine, the existing vaccines will become more Omicron specific,” said Williams.
Free COVID -19 testing clinics will take place beginning August 2 at two Norfolk churches. Second Calvary Baptist Church will offer testing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On August 9, First Baptist Church Berkley will offer testing from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated, or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.
Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.