Booster shot now available for children
The Omicron variant has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the region. Its rapid spread and highly contagious nature makes it a prime concern for healthcare organizations across the nation.
Several Minnesota healthcare systems have employed new techniques to slow the spread of Omicron while safeguarding staff and visitors. Starting Jan. 10, all patients and visitors will be required to wear a medical-grade mask while in Tri-County Health Care facilities. They will be available at all main entrances and in the ER.
A medical-grade mask is typically referred to as a surgical mask or procedure mask. They are made from paper and are manufactured with multiple pleats. This type of mask offers better protection against COVID-19 over cloth masks. Those who enter a TCHC facility wearing a cloth mask will be asked to remove it and put on a medical-grade mask.
Vaccination continues to be the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Pfizer is now shipping premixed vaccines to distribution sites, increasing ac-cessibility to patients. This change to distribution means that the Pfizer vac-cine will be available at all TCHC facilities daily. The Pfizer pe-diatric vaccine for ages 5-11 will only be available at the Wadena Clinic.
Additionally, on Jan. 3, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the use of the Pfizer vaccine to allow people ages 12-15 to receive the third dose booster. Also, the FDA has shortened the time between the main two-dose sequence and the booster from six months to five months. The new guidelines also allow for a third primary dose of the vaccine for eligible im-munocompromised children, ages 5-11.
Vaccination continues to be the best resource for combating the severity and spread of COVID-19. Major healthcare organizations, including the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly encourage eligible people to get vaccinated and receive the booster when able.
For more information about COVID-19 and the vaccine, please visit www.TCHC.org/covid19.