HEALTH

Intermountain COVID-19 update addresses booster shot, new variant

Sep 24, 2021, 5:29 PM
utah covid-19 vaccine distribution hospitals...
Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. (PHOTO: KSL TV)
(PHOTO: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain medical officials warn that Utah could face a long winter as cases of COVID-19 keep rising and as flu season gets ever closer.

At its Community COVID Update meeting on Friday, Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Brandon Webb said this year’s flu season remains unpredictable. That’s because mask and social distancing requirements have eased up and Utahns aren’t practicing the same level of hygiene as they were last year.

“The last thing we can afford is to have significant numbers of patients who are ill with influenza and the high volumes of Covid,” Webb said.

Webb noted that last year the state saw historically low rates of RSV, influenza, and other severe respiratory viruses.

An ongoing concern for health officials across the state is the number of people requiring intensive care for COVID-19.  On Friday, the Utah Department of Health said that 587 Utahns were hospitalized for COVID-19.  Of those cases, 226 were in intensive care units on Friday.

Of those with COVID-19 in Intermountain intensive care units, Webb said more than 90% are unvaccinated.

New COVID-19 variant on the horizon

Intermountain is keeping an eye on a new variant of COVID-19 called R-1. It was first identified in a long-term health care facility.

“We don’t know a lot about it yet,” Webb said. “It’s now been sequenced and we understand what some of the mutations are in that variant.”

“Each of these variants as they emerge require both sequencing and understanding of what mutations they have … at this point, we can’t say whether R-1 is more efficient in terms of transmission, and that’s key.”

Booster shots against COVID-19

This week, the CDC and the FDA came to an agreement on who should receive a third shot, or booster, of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those people include anybody over the age of 65 or those who are at high risk of severe disease.

“We’re pleased,” Dr. Webb said, “that they’ve come to a consensus.

“The recommendations that have now been finalized are that individuals who are at higher risk of having COVID or at higher risk of not responding to the vaccination should have a third dose as a booster.”

“Now for those who are generally healthy, who don’t have high risk, and who’ve been fully vaccinated, a third dose booster may not be necessary right now,” said Dr. Webb.

Simone Seikaly contributed

Read more

 

Today’s Top Stories

Health

St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City. According to the Utah Hospital Association, staffing at hosp...
Martha Harris

Staffing at Utah hospitals is in a more stable place than a year ago

Staffing at Utah hospitals are at a more stable position than they were last year, according to the Utah Hospital Association. However, they still aren't at pre-pandemic levels.
3 days ago
Utah ranks one of the top ten states to have a baby, new study finds....
Waverly Golden

Study places Utah among top ten states to have a baby

According to a new study, Utah is among the top states to have a baby and has one of the lowest c-sections hospital costs.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 202...
Donald Judd, CNN

President Joe Biden officially cleared to emerge from isolation following rebound Covid-19 case

 President Joe Biden was officially cleared to emerge from isolation Sunday after a second negative Covid-19 test, his physician announced.
5 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

The 2022 Subaru Outback outscored six other midsize sedans in an updated side-crash test, which more accurately reflects real-world conditions than the previous test.
5 days ago
costco samples senior hours...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

The mysterious companies behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature and Trader Joe’s O’s

As prices surge, store brands -- also known as private labels, white labels or generic brands -- have become an even more attractive option for inflation-fatigued shoppers who are looking to switch from pricier name brands. Store brands can be anywhere from 10% to 50% cheaper.
6 days ago
Utah COVID update...
Michael Lee, CTVNews.ca writer

Long-term COVID symptoms persist in 1 in 8 adult patients, study says

The study, published in peer-review journal The Lancet, looked at groups of adults diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those who were uninfected, and examined whether they developed new or worsening disease symptoms
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Intermountain COVID-19 update addresses booster shot, new variant