Coronavirus

Your COVID-19 Booster Has Changed

stock photo showing healthcare worker giving vaccine to masked patient

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a new COVID-19 vaccine booster that protects against both the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the virus.
 
The new vaccine is a “bivalent” vaccine, or one that stimulates the immune response to a pair of antigens rather than a single antigen, as the original “monovalent” vaccine did.
 

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The New COVID-19 Variant: BA.5

illustration of virus mutating to indicate COVID-19 BA.5 variant

Currently, the BA.5 subvariant of the COVID-19 virus accounts for the majority of new cases in the United States.

What makes it different from previous versions, and how can we fight the spread?

What Is a Variant?

COVID-19 is a virus, so it mutates and changes quickly. When significant mutations happen, a new variant is created that has different characteristics than the original disease.

You can think of subvariants as children of a “parent” variant.

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COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Health

illustration of covid virus taking over a beating heart

More than 76 million people in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began two years ago. Of those, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 900,000 people have died. In between death and complete recovery lies a gray area of “long COVID,” in which people are no longer infected by the virus but continue to suffer from it.

Some of those long-term symptoms are related to cardiovascular health.

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