Everything you need to know about the updated COVID-19 booster

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Published on September 13, 2022

Do I need to get the updated COVID-19 booster?

Author: Asha Shah, MD, MS

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices 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?

The bivalent booster from Pfizer is available for people ages 12 years and older, and from Moderna for people ages 18 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.

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?

About the Author

Asha Shah, MD, MS, is the director of infectious diseases at Stamford Health.

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