The updated, bivalent COVID-19 boosters, designed to give broad protection against the virus including better protection against the Omicron variant, are now available at Washington County Health Department vaccination clinics.
The boosters from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a single dose at least two months after completion of the primary vaccination series or last booster dose.
The products do differ in eligible age groups, with the Moderna booster authorized for individuals 18 years of age and older and the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for individuals 12 years of age and older.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 changes over time and a person’s immunity naturally decreases as well, so we may lose some of that protection,” says Dr. Diana Gaviria, deputy health officer at the Washington County Health Department. “These updated boosters include components of the original virus strain and the Omicron variant and will add to the mix of protection available against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”
Anyone eligible for an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster does not need to have one from the same manufacturer that made their previously received shot(s).
The health department continues to offer individuals 5-11 years of age booster doses of the initial Pfizer-BioNTech product after at least five months following their primary vaccine series. Individuals in this age group who received an initial series of the Moderna vaccine are not currently recommended for a booster dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 initial series and booster vaccinations continue to be made available by the health department at no cost. A full list of clinics, including days, times and locations, is available here.