HEALTH

Bivalent COVID-19 booster is recommeneded for use by CDC

Sep 1, 2022, 8:00 PM

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The CDC issued Thursday recommendations for use of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent vaccines to help protect Americans from COVID-19.Photo credit: Jessica McGowan/ Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — The Center for Disease and Control and Prevention recommended Thursday the use of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent vaccines as added protection for Americans against COVID-19.

Bivalent COVID-19 booster

Also referred to as updated boosters, the vaccines focus on several strains of COVID-19, which includes the original strain of the virus and two of the Omicron variants, according to a news release from the Utah Department of Health. Currently, the Omicron variants are the most widespread variants of the virus.

According to the news release, the updated boosters could begin being shipped to states as soon as Friday. However, most vaccines will arrive at providers next week.

“Utahns should be able to access vaccinations soon after Labor Day. We should have more than 100,000 doses in Utah within the next week,” said Rich Lakin with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services immunization program, in a news release. 

Who is eligible to receive the booster?

Residents of the state who are eligible right now for the bivalent booster include the following:

  • People who are 18 years or older are eligible for the updated Moderna booster. If they have gone at least two months since receiving their primary series of vaccinations or a booster dose.
  • People 12 years and older are eligible for the updated Pfizer-BioNTech booster. If it has been at least two months since finishing their primary series of vaccinations or received a booster dose.
  • Individuals who have an appointment to get a monovalent booster should reschedule. That appointment should be made for when bivalent doses are available and can be administered.

According to the news release, people have the option to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster. It doesn’t matter which primary series vaccine or original booster dose individuals had before. The current monovalent booster will no longer be available to those people ages 12 and up.

“We encourage all Utahns to stay up to date on their immunizations. As fall approaches, it’s important that you have as much protection from vaccine-preventable illnesses like flu and COVID-19 as possible,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist at DHHS in a news release. “Data from the southern hemisphere suggests the flu season may hit us hard this winter at the same time we expect transmission of COVID-19 to increase. The updated COVID-19 vaccine can help protect us all.”

For a list of available vaccine providers, click here.

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