Updated COVID vaccine available


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released an article last week where Bruce Vanderhoff, director, said that he remained “confident” that the updated COVID-19 vaccinations would continue to be “readily available” for Ohioans, even those without insurance.

“If you have medical insurance, and that includes Medicare or Medicaid, vaccines should be covered as a preventive health service, which means you likely will have no out-of-pocket costs,” Vanderhoff said. “Those without insurance can take advantage of several programs to ensure they can continue to get free vaccines, as well.”

The article said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an updated vaccine early last week that was “formulated to better target the predominant variants currently circulating.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommended this vaccine for those ages six months or older who hadn’t received a vaccine in the past two months.

Highland County has also seen its biggest COVID-19 case spike in months, according to The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker.

Last updated on Thursday, the tracker said that the county is averaging a two COVID-19 hospital admission rate per day on Sept. 2, 2023. The tracker said that this was the county’s biggest COVID-19 spike since May 13, 2023, when the daily average COVID-19 hospital admission rate was a little over the newest data. It also said that this spike was a 206 percent increase compared to 14 days ago.

“Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization data is a daily average of COVID-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Highland County, an area which may be larger than Highland County itself,” the tracker said. The number of daily hospital admissions shows how many patients tested positive for Covid in hospitals and is one of the most reliably reported indicators of Covid’s impact on a community.”

The tracker also said that 39 percent of the total Highland County population has received the “primary series” vaccination, with 72 percent of the population ages 65 and up having taken it. It also said that 8 percent of the population has received the “Bivalent” booster, with 26 percent of the population ages 65 and up having received it.

The tracker said that the updated vaccine is still “recommended” for adults and “most children,” with 1 percent of vaccinations not specifying a home county.

Regarding the state of Ohio, The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker said that the daily average COVID-19 hospital admission rate was 114 on Sept. 2, with that being the highest rate since May 20, 2023, when it was also 114. It said this was a 37 percent increase from 14 days prior.

Statistics from the CDC, updated last on Thursday, said that the test positivity in Ohio has also seen in increase through Sept. 9, with the test positivity now at 13.4 percent from last week and a test volume at 9,869 people from “COVID-19 nucleic antigen amplification tests.”

Concerning the U.S. as a whole, The New York Times COVID-19 Tracker said that two of its four metrics were slowly on the uptick. The metric climbing the most evidently, according to the tracker, is the percentage of deaths from COVID-19, which it said has now risen to 2 percent from the period of Aug. 13 to Sept. 2.

Statistics from the CDC showed that hospital admissions are up 8.7 percent to 18,871 people for the week ending on Sept. 2 compared to the week prior in the United States.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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