Alpena, MichiganLocal Weather Alerts
There are currently no active weather alerts.

The FDA approved a new updated version of the COVID–19 vaccine that directly addresses the Omicron subvariant called XBB.1.5. While Omicron has been affecting people since about mid–November of 2021, the FDA has just approved the circulation of the new vaccine for the public but what age ranges are able to get the omicron vaccine?

Dr. James Grant a Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said, “We’re now looking at 12 and over, and for those that are over six–months–old, you would need to talk to your pediatrician about that. But they will still be eligible, it’s just a little bit of a different kind of form of concentration.”

Health officials and doctors strongly recommend getting the vaccine during this flu season as the population is starting to stay indoors more because of the drop in temperatures, people are getting closer to one another and kids are starting going back to school. Dr. Grant details, “We don’t know how effective it’s going to be until the population gets it and that’s actually a key.” He said, “If you read about the variants, the variants symptoms are a little bit different. Thankfully were not seeing an overflow in emergency departments, were not seeing people on ventilators like we were with other strains of COVID. So, although the sort of intensity isn’t as great, still we need to be ahead of the game.”

So, when can we expect to see the latest Omicron vaccine being rolled out to local pharmacies and hospitals, Dr. Grant has more information on that. He said, “It’s already being rolled out now, the population knows its coming. Like I’ve said it’s being approved today, I’ve heard actually it’s going to be rolled out tomorrow.” Dr. Grant continues, “And were encouraging everyone to go out and get it, it’s really important that you get it and you can actually get it with your annual flu vaccine. So, it’s not like you have to take two separate trips to the doctor or to the drug store to get it.”

While the Omicron isn’t affecting the population like the initial COVID–19 pandemic back in 2020 and 2021, it’s still good to be ahead of the game as Dr. Grant puts it and be ahead of the curve and prevent it while we can. Talk to your local doctors and pediatricians and see if you can receive the Omicron variant vaccine.