COVID-19 boosters off to slow start in Nashville
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.
- Researchers recently said the boosters have the potential to save as many as 90,000 lives.
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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