If you are at risk of suffering serious consequences from contracting COVID-19, help is on the way. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved and authorized the emergency use of updated COVID-19 vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer that are targeting the currently circulating variants, including the Omicron variant XBB.1.5. The doses are available for those six months and up for those who are interested. COVID-19 hospitalizations were growing in northeast Wisconsin as of September 2nd by 80 percent, though there was no significant change in those placed in the intensive care unit. Last month, Door County Medical Center saw five people admitted due to COVID-19 complications, though those patients were older or had other health concerns. Speaking to Door County Daily News last month, Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise said he was not concerned for the vast majority of the population despite the increases in cases and hospitalizations.
The Centers for Disease Control say hospitalizations (15.7 percent) and deaths (10.5 percent) are both up double-digit percentage points over the last week, but still a far cry away from where they were during the high points of the pandemic where people were concerned about a lack of hospital rooms, tests, and personal protective equipment. You can contact your local public health department, hospital, or pharmacy about the availability of the reformulated vaccine.