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Health district offers second booster doses 


People over 50 or who are immunocompromised can get a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday at Washoe County Health District’s Ninth Street clinic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the additional booster on Tuesday. 

Nancy Diao, an epidemiologist with the health district, said the extra booster dose can help those who are eligible to lift their immunity against COVID-19. Boosters, including getting the first booster, can also shorten the period of infection and reduce transmission of the virus for those who do get COVID-19. 

Diao also said the risk of long COVID is also reduced for people who are vaccinated. 

More than 60% of Washoe County residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, but fewer than 28% have received a booster dose. 

New cases of COVID-19 have declined sharply over the past two months, dropping from 571 cases per 100,000 people the week of Jan. 30 to 26 new cases per 100,000 people for the week of March 20. Thirty six new cases were confirmed Tuesday. 

Most of the new cases in the region continue to be the BA1 omicron variant, which was the source of January’s surge. A newer omicron variant, BA2, is being monitored but has yet to make much of an impact in the region. Just five cases have been diagnosed in Washoe County. 

Diao said this is likely because of the high infection rate of the BA1 variant and residual immunity many people still have from that surge. 

WCHD staff said its clinic is prepared to handle the level of requests expected when they begin administering the second booster dose. They suggested that people call ahead to make an appointment to ensure a shorter wait time. 

Appointments will be inside the WCHD Building B at 1001 East Ninth Street and can be made by calling  775-328-2427. Free at-home tests can also be picked up at this location. 

Additional vaccination events for first and second dose or booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are available at vaccine events throughout the community. 

WCHD continues to offer drive-through testing only at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center. Information on testing, vaccine events and other COVID-19 related news is available here.

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.