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Only 15% of Washingtonians have gotten the updated omicron booster

Only 15% of Washington residents have gotten the new Covid booster shot, updated for omicron, according to state public health officials.

"This is concerning, because we're rolling into respiratory virus season, and we really urge all Washingtonians who are eligible to make getting their bivalent booster a priority. It's especially important for seniors," said Lacy Fehrenbach with the Washington State Department of Health.

About 95% of Washington residents 65 and older completed their primary Covid vaccine series.

Fehrenbach says that she expects a winter swell of Covid, flu, and RSV cases in children.

She notes that a few factors are at play that will add up to increased cases. Many people have lowered immunity after a couple years of pandemic precautions (masks, social distancing, etc.). That means not as many people's immune systems have been exposed to viruses. Also, as colder, wetter months arrive, more people will be heading indoors to mingle with crowds.

So far, virus data from the state shows flu activity is minimal. Two people have died from the flu this season.

RSV cases are higher than normal in Washington state. RSV symptoms are similar to the common cold, but can also include pale skin in kids.

A reminder: You can still order free Covid tests from the state, online, each month.

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