COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Talking Points for Healthcare Providers
Monday, March 6, 2023 marked the 3 year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in the State of Nebraska. During the last 1,100 days, healthcare workers have poured their heart and soul into everything they’ve done to treat and prevent COVID-19. It’s been rough on everyone, but fortunately we have learned more about the SARS-CoV 2 virus and have better tools to combat infection.
18% of Nebraskans have received the bivalent booster (as of March 7, 2023). Compared to the rest of the US, Nebraska ranks 22nd for this percentage (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-people-booster-percent-pop5). There are many people that are hesitant to get the bivalent booster, even though it is effective and safe.
Healthcare workers are trusted information sources. In case you receive questions about the bivalent booster at work or from friends and family, here are talking points to use with Nebraska specific data.
- Over the last 20 weeks, people were 17 times less likely to die from COVID-19 when they were vaccinated with the updated, bivalent booster
- An updated booster reduces the risk of death 17 times!
- About the Analysis:
- The 20-week (Sept 01, 2022, to Jan 28, 2022) period was considered in the analysis as bivalent vaccines were approved on September 1, 2022.
- Records having immunosuppressive conditions along with COVID-19 were excluded from the analysis.
- Vaccination Data: Obtained from Nebraska State Immunization Information System (NESIIS)
- Death Data: Obtained from Nebraska vital records death certificate data.
- Incidence Rate Ratios (IRRs) for vaccinated without an updated booster for the past twenty weeks were calculated by dividing the average weekly incidence rates among the unvaccinated population by that among the population vaccinated without an updated booster. IRRs for those vaccinated with an updated booster for the past twenty weeks were calculated by dividing the average weekly incidence rates among the unvaccinated population by that among the population vaccinated with an updated booster. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated based on the formula VE = 1 – Rate vaccinated / Rate unvaccinated
- Age-adjusted IRRs were calculated by IRR = 1/ (1-Age-adjusted VE)
- In 2022, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death across all ages in Nebraska. Only heart disease and cancer rank above COVID as a cause of death!
- Top 5 causes of death in descending order: heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, cerebrovascular, and accidents
- Source: Obtained from Nebraska vital records death certificate data. Provisional death certificate analysis for 2022 deaths in Nebraska
- Currently, 60% of Nebraskans have received the primary COVID-19 vaccine series while only 18% have received the updated bivalent booster
- Source: Vaccination Data: Obtained from Nebraska State Immunization Information System (NESIIS
- Almost everyone is eligible to receive the updated booster
- children ages 6 months to 5 years who completed a Moderna primary series
- everyone ages 5 years and older who have completed any primary series
- eligible 2 months after primary series
- Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
- For many, the up-to-date, bivalent boosters are still free and can be found in many different locations
- your primary care doctor
- your local pharmacy
- your local health department
- if you need help finding somewhere nearby, call any of the above and you can always call your local health department
- Nebraska LHD list: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/local-health-departments.aspx
Here are some social media graphics that can be used as communication tools:
If you have questions or would like to talk with an experienced infection preventionist, please give Nebraska ICAP a call at (402)552-2431.