AUSTIN (KXAN) – COVID-19 continues to circulate in the U.S., but it is no longer as big of a threat to most healthy individuals as it was months ago. Currently, the community risk of COVID-19 in Travis County is low, as is the case in most jurisdictions around the country, per the CDC.  In fact, last week, the CDC recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths since March 25, 2020.  

If you already received a bivalent booster shot, are healthy and living in an area with low risk, the Texas Department of State Health Services does not recommend getting another booster shot until an updated vaccine is released, likely towards the end of the year, said Chris Van Deusen, spokesperson for the Texas DSHS. 

“If you are 65 or older or if you have a condition that would mean you are moderate to severely immunocompromised – it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor [about] whether getting an additional dose — or maybe even multiple additional doses — would be right for you,” Van Deusen said. “But for most everybody –the majority of people –that one dose of the Bivalent vaccine is what is recommended right now,” he continued. 

The Bivalent vaccine combines elements from the original COVID-19 strain and components from the omicron strain – subvariants of which continue to be the most dominant strain in the U.S. 

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech released updated bivalent booster shots in September 2022. If you haven’t received a booster shot since early fall 2022, you may consider getting the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster, per the FDA’s guidance. 

“All the data that we’re seeing come through indicate that [the Bivalent vaccine] still provides good protection against the currently circulating strains,” he said. 

Van Deusen said if COVID-19 numbers continue to stay low the way they are now, vaccinations for the illness will likely become a yearly, scheduled routine, similar to what we see with other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu. 

“That doesn’t mean something can’t change. The virus can [mutate]…We’ve seen that over and over again,” he said. “There’s always a risk of that. But, at this point, anyway, we’re still headed toward that seasonal vaccine model,” Van Deusen said.