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COVID hospitalizations double at Augusta Health over past week

Augusta HealthThe current inpatient COVID-19 census at Augusta Health is 39, up sharply in the past week, but still well below the late-summer Delta peak.

The COVID census at Augusta Health on Dec. 27 was at 19. The mid-September Delta surge had a high in COVID census at the regional hospital in the mid-60s.

In the 24 hours preceding 9 a.m. on Wednesday, 92 new positive cases of COVID were diagnosed at Augusta Health testing sites. Over the holiday weekend, there were 378 positive cases of COVID diagnosed.

What we know about the ‘COVID Pills’

The CDC has announced the approval of two prescription oral antiviral medications, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. These are not preventive medications, so a positive COVID-19 test is required before a physician prescribes. The initial supply of both medications is extremely limited; only a few local pharmacies have received small shipments.

Vaccination eligibility

Augusta Health is vaccinating everyone age 5 and older who lives, works or goes to school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for individuals age 18 and over. Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals age 5 and older; a parent or legal guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of those under the age of 18. Booster criteria vary by vaccine, so please be aware of the criteria for the vaccine selected.

Children ages 5-11

To ensure patient safety and in awareness of the different dosage for the 5-11 year old age group, there are separate clinics for ages 5-11 only at the on-campus location. Again, a parent or legal guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of those under the age of 18.

Please make appointments at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Booster eligibility information

Anyone over the age of 16 can receive third-dose COVID-19 booster shots. The FDA extended authorization for booster eligibility to include those age 12 to age 15. The CDC will discuss the policy change this week. After receiving direction from the Department of Health, Augusta Health will make any requested changes to eligibility criteria.

When can you get the booster?

  • At least 6 months after you completed your Pfizer or Moderna series
  • If you’re immune suppressed and have completed either the Pfizer or Moderna series, you can get a 3rd dose in 28 days
  • At least 2 months after Johnson & Johnson vaccination

Which booster can you get?

  • If you are age 18 or older, you can get any booster shot you prefer.

If you are age 16 or older, you can get a Pfizer booster.

Appointments at vaccinate.augustahealth.com.

For patient safety concerns, vaccines will be offered on specific days. Please be sure make an appointment for a clinic that is offering the vaccine you want. If you are registering for a booster, and are switching vaccine, make an appointment for the type of booster you want. For example, if you originally received a Pfizer vaccine, but would like a Moderna booster, make an appointment in a Moderna clinic.

If you have questions about eligibility, please call Augusta Health’s Vaccination Call Center at (540) 332-5122.

Please bring your COVID Vaccination Record Card to the booster appointment.

Vaccinations in Primary Care Offices

Vaccinations for COVID-19 continue in all Augusta Medical Group primary care offices. Patients who prefer to receive a vaccination from their personal physician should contact their doctor’s office to be scheduled into the next available vaccination appointment block.

Community-Based Clinics

This week, Augusta Health’s Community Vaccination Team will be providing vaccines at the Trinity Church Soup Kitchen and the WARM Shelter. To date, more than 10,000 vaccines have been administered at clinics within vulnerable communities by the Augusta Health Task Force.

Community organizations that would like to partner with Augusta Health for a Vaccination Clinic can contact VaccinationTaskForce@augustahealth.com for more information on the requirements.

Large on-campus Vaccination Clinics

Please make an appointment for on-campus clinics. Go to vaccinate.augustahealth.com to view the links and schedule an appointment. Information about new clinics, the links and the criteria for each link, are posted as available. On-campus clinics this week are:

Thursday: Pfizer Clinic for ages 5-11 only from 3-7 p.m. This clinic is for those ages 5-11 only. A parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of the child under the age of 18. The link is open at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Friday: Pfizer Clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those age 12 and older. For first dose and second dose available to those age 12 and older, booster dose available to those age 16 and older. A parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of a child under the age of 18. Please verify criteria before registration.

Note: The local area is under a winter storm watch for Thursday night into Friday morning. The Vaccination Clinic on Friday may be postponed or canceled if conditions are hazardous. Please check the Augusta Health Facebook page or website for information about any changes to the clinic schedule.

Monday: Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Clinics from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those age 18 and older.
For first dose, second dose and booster dose available to those age 18 and older. Please verify criteria before registration.

The links are open at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Vaccination Call Center

Not everyone has access to the internet. Others just have questions. For assistance, call Augusta Health’s Vaccination Call Center at (540) 332-5122. The Call Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. to answer questions and help to schedule vaccination appointments.

Homebound patients are being vaccinated through a pilot program with Central Shenandoah EMS. Contact the Vaccination Call Center for more information.


augusta free press
augusta free press