Note: As of December 9, 2022, the bivalent booster is now available for children ages 6 months and older. The video above was created prior to this update.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have authorized the use of an updated COVID-19 booster. Here’s what you need to know about it and who is eligible:
What is the bivalent booster?
It adds omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition. This helps to restore the protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are now more transmissible and can evade the immune system.
Who is eligible for the booster?
As of December 9, 2022, the bivalent booster from Pfizer is now available for children ages 6 months and older.
For adults and children ages 5 years and older, the updated booster can be given at least two months from completion of the primary vaccine series or the most recent booster, regardless of how many boosters someone has received.
For children 6 months through 5 years, the way the bivalent booster is administered depends on which primary series of the vaccine you receive.
- Children ages 6 months through 4 years who are currently completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose.
- Children ages 6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary series are eligible to receive a Moderna bivalent booster two months after their primary series.
For adults and children, this current recommendation replaces all previous booster recommendations. A bivalent booster cannot be administered unless the primary series of vaccine was completed.
Should I get the bivalent booster?
Getting the updated booster is highly encouraged to stay up to date with vaccination as we head into the upcoming respiratory virus season.
Where can I get the booster?
Although our vaccination clinic closed on September 30, 2022, there are still many ways to get the primary COVID-19 vaccine series or the updated booster:
- Stamford Health Medical Group patients (18 years and older) can call their primary care physician's office to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Stamford Health Medical Group Pediatric patients (6 months to 17 years) can call their pediatrician's office to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Stamford Health’s Walk-In Center, located at 292 Long Ridge Road in Stamford, offers COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone in the community (18 years and older). For vaccinations, please call ahead to schedule an appointment: 203.276.8575.
- Vaccinations are also available at local pharmacies and through the Department of Health. Visit COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Options (Ct.gov) for more information.
About the Author
Asha Shah, MD, MS, is the director of infectious diseases at Stamford Health.
Featured Expert/ Author