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New COVID boosters targeting omicron

New COVID-19 boosters targeting omicron expected soon.

New COVID boosters targeting Omicron recommended for ages 12 and up

Shots may be available soon after Labor Day

Fall and winter are just around the corner — and with them comes a new Covid-19 vaccine booster modified to target the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.5.  But the roll-out of the new vaccine will be slow at first.

The Washington State Department of Health announced an initial allocation of 191,100 bivalent booster doses is currently en route to providers throughout the state and will be available beginning the week of September 5 after the Labor Day holiday. Subsequent weekly allocations will follow, building the state’s inventory levels over time.

DOH urges the public to remain patient, as initial demand will likely exceed available inventory before resolving in the coming weeks, and to visit Vaccine Locator or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127 or your health provider to find available boosters.

Who Should Get the Omicron Variant-Targeted Bivalent Booster?

 DOH offered the following advice and information:

The bivalent vaccines combine the companies’ original COVID-19 vaccine compositions with BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components, providing additional protection by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading. The primary COVID-19 vaccine series will stay the same, given their proven efficacy in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

Updated booster dose recommendations are as follows:

Ages 12 – 17 who have completed a primary vaccine series can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose.
Ages 18 and older who have completed a primary vaccine series can receive either company’s bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose.
Ages 5 – 11 who have completed Pfizer-BioNTech’s primary vaccine series should continue to receive the company’s original monovalent booster at least 5 months after their most recent dose.
Ages 6 months – 4 years are currently not authorized for any COVID-19 booster doses.

DOH advised that people ages 12 and over who currently have appointments to receive COVID-19 booster doses will need to contact their providers to ensure the bivalent booster is available; if not, those appointments will need to be rescheduled, as the former monovalent booster doses are no longer authorized for this age group.

The Washington Department of Health website is a reliable source of information about boosters for young kids as is the King County Health website for King County residents.

 

Read more at Seattle’s Child:

“Ask the Pediatrician: Tips for getting your kids (5-11) COVID vaccines”

“Little kid COVID-19 vaccines: Your questions answered”

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