Updated COVID-19 boosters likely available next month as ‘twindemic’ fears emerge

Aug 19, 2022, 6:57 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITYConcerns about a potential surge in COVID-19 and the flu at the same time this fall are emerging again.

Each of the last two years, warnings about a so-called “twindemic” did not materialize, but this year could be different.

“As we relax our guard, I think that we’re going to get more colds and flu,” said Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, chief of the division of infectious diseases at University of Utah Health.

Swaminathan said the absence of a serious flu season the last two years means that we have not been naturally boosted through exposure. Kids who have not had the flu or a vaccine have gone without protection for a couple of years.

“So there’s probably more susceptibility out there to flu,” Swaminathan said.

Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in five years.

“If there is a resurgence in Australia, that might mean that we could have a resurgence here,” he said.

If COVID and the flu rise at the same time, that could be problematic for the healthcare system.

“It’s just going to strain the system,” Swaminathan said. “Hopefully it won’t be bad, but I think we have to be prepared for that. And one way to be prepared, as usual, is to get vaccinated against the flu.”

He gets that shot as soon as it is available, but he knows that some people like to get their flu vaccine closer to the winter peak.

As for COVID, the CDC expects emergency use authorization for boosters targeting the two most prevalent omicron subvariants sometime soon.

The omicron BA.5 subvariant now accounts for nearly 90% of new COVID cases.

Case counts dropped this week in Utah, but there were still 13 COVID-related deaths.

Pfizer and Moderna have updated their vaccines to combat a potential surge this fall as children head back to school and people gather indoors more.

“The idea is that we are going to have a booster that will not only protect against hospitalization and infection like before, but additionally provide more protection against infection by these latest variants,” Swaminathan said.

The vaccine manufacturers are expected to apply for authorization soon. The COVID boosters should be available for everyone 12 and up sometime in the next few weeks, and for children 5 to 11 shortly after that. The flu vaccine should also be widely available in the next couple of months.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A Davis County teen is home safe, and a man in jail after police believe the man traveled from Cali...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Teen’s secret signal for help leads to hotel rescue and alleged predator arrest in Davis County

A Davis County teen is home safe, and a man in jail after police believe the man traveled from California upon meeting the boy online, causing the 14-year-old to send a secret signal for help to his family.

2 hours ago

This weekend's Academy Awards show has boosted demand for many of its nominated films. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

The added cybersecurity risks of watching free streams of Oscar-nominated movies

This weekend's Academy Awards show has boosted demand for many of its nominated films. The continually increasing prices of streaming services – Apple, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Netflix and others raised their costs last October – is pushing many folks to look for ways to watch these films for free. But cybersecurity experts warn searching for free streams can get way more costly.

3 hours ago

Dusk on the last day of the 2024 legislative session at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Frida...

Daniel Woodruff

‘This is a disgrace’: Bitter fight over district attorney’s job performance marks end of Utah legislative session

The Utah legislative session ended on a fiery note as lawmakers approved a bill that critics say unfairly targets an elected official.

3 hours ago

Members of the Stansbury Park community came together Saturday night to help a pair of stranded far...

Shelby Lofton

Stansbury Park store employees, locals rally together to help stranded farmers

The Tooele County community came to the rescue of a couple of strangers Saturday night.

6 hours ago

Utah State GOP Chair Robert Axson expects turnout to be north of 100,000 people statewide for Super...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah Republicans ‘confident’ for caucus night Super Tuesday

Utahns are heading out Tuesday to cast their votes for who they want for President during Super Tuesday. 

7 hours ago

Eagle Mountain homes still cleaning up tumbleweeds, days after the windstorm covered homes....

Garna Mejia

Eagle Mountain residents are still digging themselves out of tumbleweeds

Eagle Mountain residents are still cleaning up thousands of tumbleweeds that blew on their doorsteps during the weekend storm.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Updated COVID-19 boosters likely available next month as ‘twindemic’ fears emerge