New COVID vaccines arrive in the Bay Area next week amid swell in cases

Melanie Woodrow Image
Saturday, September 16, 2023
New COVID vaccines arrive in the Bay Area next week
San Francisco health officials are giving an update on a swell in COVID cases and the new booster shot.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Department of Health officials updated the public Friday about the new COVID-19 vaccines arriving in the Bay Area next week.

"The virus is still here," said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip.

RELATED: FDA signs off on updated COVID vaccines that target circulating variants

Philip advised anyone who has not received a vaccine in the past two months and is 6 months and older to get the new COVID-19 vaccine, aligning with CDC recommendations.

"COVID-19 will remain with us for the foreseeable future," said Dr. Philip.

According to the ABC7 News COVID-19 Data Tracker, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Bay Area have been steadily increasing since July.

The FDA updated COVID-19 vaccines are expected to begin arriving next week. Dr. Philip says the new vaccines provide the best protection from current variants.

Health officials say San Francisco has led the nation in its response to COVID-19 with some of the lowest pandemic associated death rates of any metropolitan area in the United States.

MORE: Why you may want to think twice before throwing out those old at-home COVID tests

"These vaccines work, they are safe," said Dr. Philip.

Next week, the Department of Public Health will offer vaccines to those without health insurance and to those who face barriers. Supply is not anticipated to be a problem this year, according to health officials, and getting vaccinated may also protect people around you.

Health officials say the vaccine also helps with long COVID, though they don't completely eliminate risks.

People are advised to stay home when sick, practice good hygiene, have COVID-19 tests on hand and a well-fitted mask for added protection in crowded spaces.

Dr. Philip reminded residents now is also a good time to get your flu shot.

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