The FDA recently authorized the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for use as a booster dose. The Pharmacy at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton has received the new Moderna Bivalent COVID-19 booster dose and vaccination appointments can be made by going to www.magruderhospital.com.
Be sure to bring your vaccination card with you to your appointment, said Rachel Fall, Director of Community Outreach and Physician Recruitment. For anyone who has not yet received their primary COVID-19 vaccine, you can also make an appointment for that, as well.
This latest booster includes an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an immune response broadly protective against COVID-19, and an mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant.
The BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant are currently causing most cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and are predicted to circulate this fall and winter. With this recent authorization, the monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized as booster doses for individuals 12 years of age and older.
Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the COVID-19 Bivalent Vaccine 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 are the most-asked questions Magruder Hospital experts have been answering:
What if I recently had COVID-19?
- At a minimum, defer any COVID-19 vaccination, including bivalent booster vaccination, at least until recovery from the acute illness (if symptoms were present) and criteria to discontinue isolation have been met.
- In addition, people who recently had SARS CoV 2 infection may consider delaying any COVID-19 vaccination, including bivalent booster vaccination, by three months from symptom onset or positive test (if infection was asymptomatic).
- Individual factors such as risk of COVID-19 severe disease, COVID-19 community level, or characteristics of the predominant SARS CoV 2 strain should be considered when determining whether to delay getting a COVID 19 vaccination after infection.
What if I am immune compromised?
- People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive three primary series doses, as previously recommended, followed by a bivalent booster at least two months after the third primary series dose. (Note: bivalent booster should be age appropriate; Pfizer BioNTech is authorized for people ages 12 years and older and Moderna is authorized for people ages 18 years and older.)
Can I get a flu shot and a bivalent COVID-19 booster at the same time?
- Yes! Providers should offer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same visit, if eligible. This includes adjuvanted or high dose influenza vaccines; administered in separate limbs.