Oct 13, 2022 - News

COVID-19 boosters off to slow start in Nashville

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The rollout of omicron variant boosters is off to a slow start in Nashville.

  • Only 5.15% of Nashvillians have gotten a dose of the new bivalent vaccines since they became available last month, a Metro Public Health Department spokesperson tells Axios.

Why it matters: Health experts say the boosters could provide extra protection from serious illness heading into the fall.

Driving the news: First lady Jill Biden stopped in Nashville on Wednesday to promote the updated COVID-19 vaccines. She met with medical staff at a pop-up vaccination event at St. James Missionary Baptist Church.

  • "It's so important that we keep all Americans healthy," she said.
  • Providers gave 84 boosters at the event.

By the numbers: The Health Department tells Axios 35,776 doses of the bivalent vaccine had been administered, according to data released Wednesday. That's an increase of about 7,700 doses in a week.

The latest: Kids as young as 5 are now eligible for the omicron booster shots.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration approved the new age group Wednesday.

The intrigue: The broad push to expand booster usage comes as federal officials monitor a rise in the COVID-19 subvariants emerging and evolving throughout the world.

Context: There were 69 COVID-related hospitalizations in Nashville on Wednesday, well below previous peaks.

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