PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A virus that doesn’t know where you live, and how you voted is still infecting and sickening people across the county.

According to the New York Times, over the past 14 days, COVID-19 cases are up 3 percent, hospitalizations are up 11 percent, and ICU cases are up 13 percent. Even with new and improved therapeutics and protocols, deaths are up 2%. Because of widely used at-home testing, health officials say the infection numbers are inaccurate.

“I would almost guarantee in the U.S., our cases are under-reported right now,” said Cindy Williams, the Chief Pharmacy Officer at Riverside Health System.

More than half of all cases are of the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron sub-variants, which are vaccine stubborn.

“Effective yesterday, there is pressure on the manufacturers to have a modified BA.4 and BA.5 containing booster out and available to the public by September. But, Riverside Health officials say some, depending on their health and other factors, should not wait for the arrival of the new formula, which will probably arrive in late September.

FILE – In this March 2021 photo provided by Pfizer, vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared for packaging at the company’s facility in Puurs, Belgium. According to a study published Thursday. June 23, 2022 in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, nearly 20 million lives were saved by COVID-19 vaccines during their first year, but even more deaths could have been prevented if global targets had been reached. (Pfizer via AP)

If, in fact, you are overdue for a booster and you feel that you are going to be in a situation where that booster is going to bring some value. For example, if you’ve got a big trip coming up and you want that extra level of protection, it probably makes sense to get that booster today.

 Cindy Williams with first vaccines
(Photo courtesy: Riverside Health System)
(December 2020)

Williams who was on-hand for the delivery of Riverside’s first shipment of Coronavirus vaccines has concerns as we move toward fall.

“As we go into the fall, I think the concern is going to be if we are seeing this transmission today and if BA-4 and BA-5 are still predominate at that period of time. When we go back into the classroom, is that going to exacerbate the current increase that we are seeing?” said Williams.

Novavax, a new vaccine made with old technology, will be available in about two-three weeks. Williams hopes it will appeal to young people who remain vaccine-hesitant.