KANSAS CITY, Mo. — News of a new COVID-19 variant of concern - omicron - within the last week has led to a renewed push from local and national health official for people to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.
On Monday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened verbiage around booster shots. The agency is now saying everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot. This includes anyone who received a one-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson at least two months ago, and those who wait at least six months after the two-dose vaccination from Pfizer or Moderna.
CDC is strengthening its recommendation on #COVID19 vaccine booster doses. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after initial J&J vaccine. Learn more: https://t.co/77CTFuJFcO. pic.twitter.com/oW2hyHRPmr— CDC (@CDCgov) November 29, 2021
Earlier Monday, doctors from the University of Kansas Health System said research into the new omicron variant was ongoing, but the need for vaccination remained regardless.
“It will take a little bit of time to get the best data possible,” KU Health System director of Infection Prevention and Control Dr. Dana Hawkinson said of research into omicron.
Hawkinson said people should continue to pursue best practices, but specifically encouraged vaccinations.
Booster shots have been available for various populations for several weeks and hundreds of thousands of Kansans and Missourians have received their booster shots.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 664,574 Missourians have received a third shot as of Monday, Nov. 29. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports 341,448 Kansans receiving a third dose.
In a press release Monday, KDHE officials say omicron has yet to be detected in the state. Officials say they plan to sequence positive COVID-19 samples to look for the omicron variant.