The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reported that the statewide seven-day average of new positive Covid-19 cases has decreased for the fourth consecutive month. Hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid-19 have remained low over the same time period.
Average new positive cases are lowest in Kent County, with Sussex County only slightly higher. However, the seven-day average in New Castle County is almost three times that of Kent County and double the average for Sussex County. In general, the level of community spread remains low.
DPH noted that individuals can get either the Pfizer or Moderna updated bivalent booster, regardless of whether their primary series or most recent dose was with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the new bivalent booster replaces the existing monovalent vaccine booster The earlier booster vaccine will no longer be authorized for use as a booster dose in people ages five and up. The bivalent booster is for those who completed their primary series, or previous boosters, two or more months ago.
The Novavax vaccine is also authorized as a monovalent booster dose for adults ages 18 and older, at least six months after completing primary vaccination with Pfizer, Moderna or Novovax, or two months after J&J who have never received a previous booster.Adults may choose to receive a Novavax booster instead of an updated Pfizer or Moderna booster if they are allergic to mRNA vaccines, or don’t wish to get an mRNA vaccine. For more information on boosters, visit de.gov/boosters.
DPH has encouraged individuals to get their booster at the same time as they get their annual flu vaccine, either in the same arm at least one inch apart, or in different arms. As of Thursday, Nov. 1, a total of 598 influenza cases were reported for the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, an increase from the prior week. It brings the total number of influenza cases for the season to 1,404. While cases are increasing, influenza-related hospitalizations remain low at 23 statewide at present.
As flu cases rise this season, only 26% of Delawareans have received their annual flu vaccine.The CDCencourages everyone 6 months older to get their annual flu vaccine by Thanksgiving.
Flu vaccines and bivalent boosters are available at DPH clinics, many pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers and some community events.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is another respiratory virus that has caused concern. Cases are beginning to decline, but remain relatively high. During the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, there were 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of RSV reported among Delaware residents, with 606 total cases for the 2022-2023 season.
The co-circulation of COVID-19, flu and RSV continues to be a concern for Delaware. The three viruses have contributed to a strain on the health care system, and public health officials have urged the public to practice prevention guidelines to help reduce the impact and allow hospitals to continue caring for those who are seriously ill.
Though a vaccine does not yet exist for RSV, it’s not too late to get critical protection from the flu if you not yet received a flu vaccine Close to half of the nearly 1,500 Delaware flu cases reported this season occurred between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12. While it is still possible to get the flu even after you’ve been vaccinated, the vaccine reduces the severity of illness if you do get sick, DPH noted.
The below data is as reported on Delaware’s My Healthy Community data portal on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations:
- Total number of doses administered in Delaware:2,051,226
- Percentage of Delawareans 5+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 76.1%
- Percentage of Delawareans 12+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 80.2%
- Percentage of Delawareans 18+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 81.7%
- Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 72%