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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Marion County health officials recommend booster shots, monoclonal therapy treatment

Marion County health officials are recommending booster shots and monoclonal therapy treatments to combat the county’s growing number of COVID-19 cases. 

Marion County Sheriff’s Office Director of Emergency Management Preston Bowlin provided commissioners with an update regarding the county’s ongoing battle with COVID-19 during the Tuesday, August 17 meeting of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners.

According to Bowlin, as of August 16, the county has 184,920 residents who have received at least one dose of the vaccination. Approximately 57.6% of eligible residents over the age of 12 are vaccinated, and 81.7% of Marion County residents who are over the age of 65 have received the vaccine, according to Bowlin.

Bowlin says that in spite of rumors circulating about vendors not offering booster shots, multiple Publix, Walgreens, and other businesses are offering the shots locally. 

“Call your CVSs, call your Walgreens, call your other providers,” said Bowlin, saying that any place that offers the vaccine may also have the booster shot available. 

Bowlin says that according to hospital officials, over 90% of admitted local patients with COVID-19 are Marion County residents who did not receive the vaccine. 

In addition to the vaccine and booster, Bowlin says that local hospitals continue to see success through monoclonal therapy treatment applications. 

Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant credits monoclonal therapy with why she experienced “very mild” conditions when she tested positive with COVID-19 only eight days after receiving the vaccine. 

Bowlin emphasized the importance of staying home when sick, avoiding large gatherings whether unvaccinated or not, and getting the vaccine as the best measures to fight COVID-19.