The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) has begun offering bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines this week. This follows Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these vaccines’ use and updated booster recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice as well as the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, “The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants.”
The bivalent vaccines are recommended for age-appropriate individuals as a single booster dose administered at least 2 months after either completion of a primary vaccination series or receipt of the most recent booster dose.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent vaccine is authorized for use in people 12 years and older, while the Moderna Bivalent vaccine is authorized for use in people 18 years and older. A bivalent COVID-19 booster dose can be co-administered with other vaccines, including influenza vaccines.
“Studies continue to show that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine prevents infection, hospitalization and death,” says Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, County Health Officer. “As we approach the winter season, getting a booster dose will protect against serious illness caused by COVID-19. I strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to receive it.”
Eligible residents and visitors are advised to visit www.myturn.ca.gov or www.vaccines.gov to find a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine near you. HCA clinics also continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk communities; appointments are available at www.othena.com.
To read more about bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, visit the FDA’s webpage FDA Bivalent or the California Department of Public Health COVID statement.
For more information, contact your primary care provider, visit the HCA’s COVID-19 website at www.ochealthinfo.com/covid19 or call OC Health Referral Line 1-800-564-8448.