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COVID-19 continues to impact Americans. As the fall approaches, it is important to stay up to date on vaccines, testing, and cases. It has been roughly two years, eight months since the onset of COVID-19, and we have learned a lot about the virus and watched as it has evolved over this time.

The variants have mutated into a less-lethal form. Our studies have given us more options for treatments. We are getting better at fighting this virus every day, but in order to stay on top of our game, we need to make sure that we are all following the latest guidelines and procedures. It is also important to know what is happening on the national level with things like funding as that directly affects us on the local level.

The following three topics have new, important pieces of information to consider as the fall season approaches.

1. New COVID-19 Omicron boosters on the horizon

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 continues to challenge those around the world. For Americans, new COVID-19 Omicron boosters may be the next best armor for defense, preventing the spread of the disease and stopping the harsh effects of the illness.

The Wall Street Journal notes that “the Biden administration has completed plans for a fall Covid-19 booster campaign that would launch in September with 175 million updated vaccine doses provided to states, pharmacies, and other vaccination sites.”

It is said by the New York Times that both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech finalized their submissions to the FDA asking for emergency authorization of booster shots. The new boosters will target the subvariants of Omicron, which includes BA.5.

These new boosters are not available at this time, however, there are primary vaccines and boosters available to all, free of charge. Read the most recent news on COVID-19 on our website. Learn about where you can get vaccinated now to help prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19.

2. Funding halted on free testing

Every home in the U.S. has been eligible to order up to three rounds of free at-home tests from the website. However, funding for this program will be suspended on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. This is due to congress not providing additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests.

Tests are available through this site until then. If you have not ordered your second round of tests, you are able to order two sets of tests this time, so make sure to submit the form twice to get all 16 total tests each household is eligible for before Friday.

Additionally, tests can be accessed through various at-home tests at retail stores and pharmacies. Note that you may receive reimbursement for tests you purchase in-store. Learn how to receive back pay for tests.

3. Novavax COVID-19, Adjuvanted Vaccine available

The FDA has granted emergency use authorization of the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted for Adolescents who are between the ages of 12 through 17 years old. This vaccine is for primary vaccination use only. There is no booster offered through Novavax at this time.

The FDA notes the difference in how this vaccine works. “Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted contains the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and Matrix-M adjuvant. Adjuvants are incorporated into some vaccines to enhance the immune response of the vaccinated individual. The spike protein in this vaccine is produced in insect cells; the Matrix M-adjuvant contains saponin extracts from the bark of the Soapbark tree that is native to Chile.”

COVID-19 Information

The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View both the Racine County COVID-19 Dashboard and Kenosha County COVID-19 Dashboard offering real-time (updated Monday – Friday) statistical reporting for Racine and Kenosha Counties.

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