Covid-19 updates, State News

New Covid-19 booster vaccine now available

Bivalent vaccine offers protection against new virus variants

State health officials announced Tuesday, Sept. 6, that Vermonters will be able to receive the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine booster shots starting Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The updated boosters are designed to be a match for the BA.5 Omicron variant currently affecting most people.

Last week, the CDC recommended use of the new vaccine booster doses. That action came after authorization for use by the FDA, and a unanimous recommendation by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said these boosters come at just the right time. “As the weather cools, we start spending more time inside — and that is when we see increases in cases of respiratory viruses like colds and flu, and now Covid-19,” said Dr. Levine. “This fast-evolving virus continues to demand our attention, and I am pleased we now have an updated vaccine that targets the variants we see circulating in Vermont.”

There are two types of the new boosters, which are known as bivalent — meaning they cover both the original SARS-CoV2 virus and the more recent Omicron (BA.5) variant. The Pfizer booster is for people ages 12 and older, while Moderna’s is authorized for those 18 and older.

Eligible individuals may choose either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster, regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose they received.

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