President Joe Biden announced the roll-out of the new COVID-19 vaccine booster, urging all Americans to get the immunization on an annual basis, just like the flu shot.
“As the virus continues to change, we will now be able to update our vaccines annually to target the dominant variant,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “For most Americans, that means one COVID-19 shot, once a year, each fall.”
Who is eligible for a new booster shot and when?
Anyone aged 18 years and above who has had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine with the last one administered at least two months prior is eligible for the single booster dose of Moderna’s vaccine, Bivalent.
Meanwhile, Pfizer-BioNTech’s version of the booster dose is authorized for individuals aged 12 and above. They are required to schedule an appointment for the booster at least two months after they complete the primary vaccination or receive the most recent booster dose.
People with comorbidities are advised to check with their healthcare provider before scheduling an appointment for a booster.
Furthermore, those who have recently contracted COVID-19 are required to wait at least three months after a negative test result before getting the updated booster.
For now, the new booster shots are free of charge for everyone.
Where to get the booster?
Multiple states, including Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey, have updated their websites with the list of clinics that have the new boosters in stock.
People can visit their respective state’s health department’s website to check the availability of the new immunization. Any necessary information about the clinics offering the updated boosters is also available on vaccines.gov. Furthermore, there’s also the option of contacting the individual location listed on the website to inquire about the new boosters’ stock.
Everything to know about the new booster
Developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, both the Bivalent versions have been modified to counter the specific Omicron variants that have resulted in most cases in the country. It integrates the elements of the original vaccine to enhance protection against the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 currently spreading across the country.
The boosters won approval from the FDA and the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention on Aug. 31.