New COVID reminders available Wednesday around Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – “A decline in all of our key indicators,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director. “Our hospitalizations are down; our case rates are down. We’ve seen very significant improvements in our wastewater monitoring, and so we’ve seen declines across all of our sites.

The CDC has now placed Mecklenburg County in the “medium” category for COVID-19, which means cases and hospitalizations are down. This comes at a time when the CDC and FDA have recommended and authorized the new COVID-19 bivalent booster intended to protect people against the BA4 and BA5 variants.

All major COVID indicators are improving in Meck County

“We received a shipment of these at the health department today and expect to be available to residents as early as tomorrow in the community here,” Dr. Washington said.

Mecklenburg County received 1,100 doses from Pfizer and Moderna, and they shared 200 with StarMed Healthcare. These shots will be available by tomorrow (Wednesday).

“Our clinics are a bit hectic right now with both Monkeypox, back-to-school injections as well as COVID-19 reminders,” Dr. Washington said.

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StarMed’s chief medical officer, Dr Arin Piramzadian, says the COVID numbers are hard to trust with access to home testing, but he anticipates the annual reminder may be there to tell.

“There’s no way to predict which variant is coming,” he said. “The only way to know which variant it is is when it starts spreading through the population, and when it’s already spreading, it’s already too late.”

StarMed still gets free vaccines from the state, but the treatments aren’t free and they pay the cost.

“It’s obviously not sustainable in the future, but it’s something we think we need to do now,” Dr Piramzadian said.

StarMed began to explore other services such as remote blood pressure monitoring and a rapid response team following disasters such as hurricanes, focusing on other community needs including monkeypox.

As for the new boosters, people 12 and older can get Pfizer, and the new Moderna booster is for people 18 and older.

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