What You Need to Know About the New COVID-19 Bivalent Booster
October 04, 2022
With the fall season here and winter approaching, COVID-19 and flu cases are expected to rise. In preparation for increased infection rates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved new Pfizer and Moderna bivalent vaccines under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). We spoke to Vandita Samavedi, MD, with Overlake Clinics Concierge Care, to get answers to your questions about the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines.
Q: Why should you get the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine?
A: All COVID-19 mRNA vaccines now include a bivalent booster dose. With the new booster dose, the vaccines are more effective against the original SARS-CoV-2 and the newer B.4 and B.5 variants. Studies show that being up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination significantly lowers the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death.
Q: Who can get the new COVID-19 booster vaccine?
A: The CDC recommends receiving this single-dose booster vaccine if you are 12 years of age and older and have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series (with or without two booster shots).
Q: When can you get the new COVID-19 booster vaccine?
A: The new booster vaccine may be administered at least two months after your last COVID-19 vaccine dose or two months after having had a COVID-19 infection. The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for individuals who are 12 years of age and older. The Moderna vaccine can be administered to those who are 18 years of age and older.
Q: How do you know if you are up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations?
A: If you have received your primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine and the new bivalent single-dose booster vaccine, you are considered up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations. You can also get an official digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record by visiting WAverify and filling out the required information. You will receive a link to a QR code and digital copy of your record. If you have any questions, call (800) 525-0127 and press #.
Q: Where should you go to get the new COVID-19 booster vaccine?
A: The new booster vaccine has replaced all previous boosters for COVID-19. You can get the vaccine at your local pharmacy. You can also find locations near you by visiting vaccines.gov or vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.
Q: Can you get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 booster vaccine at the same time?
A: Yes, both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 booster vaccine can be administered at the same time. It is recommended that you receive the shots in different arms.