TAMPA, Fla. — As the holiday season came and went, the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that COVID-19 cases rose by around 6,000 throughout Florida.
The CDC shows the uptick in the number of cases comes while less than 10% of people living in the Sunshine State ages 5 and older have received the most recent booster shot, Florida Today reports.
Between the week of Dec. 22-Dec. 28, there was a total of 25,840 total cases of COVID recorded in Florida, with the weekly case rate per 100,000 being 120.3. This number is reportedly around 6,000 cases higher than the previous week.
With the percentage of the Floridians ages 5 and older that received the primary series being 72.9 percent, data shows only 9.8 percent have received an updated bivalent booster dose.
And according to the CDC, the booster is actually helpful.
"Bivalent booster doses (after receipt of 2, 3, or 4 monovalent doses) were effective in preventing medically attended COVID-19 compared with no previous vaccination among immunocompetent adults and provided additional protection when compared with previous monovalent mRNA vaccine doses only," the government agency explains on its website.
"Real-world data suggest that bivalent boosters provide a modest degree of protection against symptomatic infection among adults compared with receipt of 2, 3, or 4 doses of monovalent vaccines only."
Florida Today also reports two federal studies released in December found the latest booster is "much more effective at protecting its recipients from hospitalization than for those who are unvaccinated or have had only the first two shots."
The U.S. announced new COVID-19 testing requirements on Dec. 28 for all travelers from China, joining other nations imposing restrictions because of a surge of infections.
The increase in cases across China follows the rollback of the nation's strict anti-virus controls. China's “zero COVID” policies had kept China’s infection rate low but fueled public frustration and crushed economic growth.
Some scientists are concerned the COVID-19 surge in China could unleash a new coronavirus variant on the world that may or may not be similar to the ones circulating now. That’s because every infection is another chance for the virus to mutate.
Beginning Jan. 5, all travelers to the U.S. from China will be required to take a COVID-19 test no more than two days before travel and provide a negative test before boarding their flight. The testing applies to anyone 2 years and older, including U.S. citizens.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.