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The first updated COVID-19 booster vaccine has been authorized by the FDA and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advises the Pfizer-BioNTech boosters are to be used for those ages 12 years and older and the Moderna boosters for those ages 18 years and older. Both boosters are single-dose.
Read on to learn about how the new booster vaccines differ from the originals, when you’re due for your next booster and how the booster can help protect you this fall and winter.
How Are the Updated Boosters Different From the First Ones?
The new and improved COVID-19 boosters have added omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine make-up, which helps restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading. In this sense, the new boosters provide extra protection in that they have “caught up” to the current forms the virus has taken, specifically omicron.
Like the original monovalent COVID-19 vaccines, the updated bivalent vaccine boosters include an mRNA component of the original strain along with the newly added components to strengthen immune response against the virus on a wider scale.
Who Is Eligible to Receive an Updated Booster Vaccine and When?
The BA.4 and BA.5 variants of omicron are currently causing the majority of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Since they are predicted to circulate this fall and winter, it’s highly encouraged that eligible individuals receive the updated booster for optimal protection.
Here’s how to know if you’re eligible for the new booster and when:
- Individuals 18 and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
- Individuals 12 and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Here for All Your Health Care Needs
At AdventHealth, we’re with you for the long haul through COVID-19 and all your health care needs. If you have questions or are interested in receiving the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine, reach out to your primary care provider who will be happy to ensure your eligibility and walk you through the details.
To stay informed on COVID-19, its variants, vaccines, boosters and more, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub. We want you to stay well and feel whole.