Health and Wellness

New Covid-19 booster could be available this week

Federal authorities last week authorized the use of new updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters for people 12 and older, and the updated boosters are expected to be available in Oregon as early as this week.

The recommendation comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the new mRNA bivalent boosters, which add an Omicron BA.4/5 spike protein component to the current vaccine composition, on Wednesday. Both boosters are designed to prevent severe illness and hospitalization from a broader range of viral strains, including the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants that account for the overwhelming majority of recent COVID-19 infections in Oregon and nationally.

The updated boosters are a single dose that can be administered two months after an initial two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two months after a monovalent booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The updated boosters  can be administered regardless of which vaccine series a person received. The Moderna bivalent booster is authorized only for persons 18 years of age and older; the Pfizer booster can be given to persons at least 12 years of age. The older monovalent vaccines are no longer authorized for booster doses.