Updated COVID-19 boosters can both help restore protection that has decreased since previous vaccination, and provide broader protection against newer variants. The updated, or bivalent boosters, target the most recent Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, that are more contagious and more resistant than earlier strains of Omicron. The new updated COVID-19 boosters can be administered in Oregon now that the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has recommended the vaccine, completing final step in the review and approval process following recommendations from the FDA and CDC.
The CDC is recommending updated COVID boosters, for people ages 12 and older. People are eligible if it’s been at least two months since they received their last COVID vaccine, either a booster or an initial dose.
The boosters can be administered regardless of which vaccine series a person received. Pfizer’s updated booster is available for anyone 12 and older. The Moderna booster is available for anyone 18 and older.
“If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, in an interview with NPR.
The new boosters should be available in Malheur County this week. The Malheur County Health Department will have news out soon with increased availability for both boosters and first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Call our office at 541-889-7279, your local healthcare provider, or pharmacy, to check availability and make an appointment, if available. Find local vaccine providers here.
Malheur County still lags behind every other county except Lake in Oregon for protection against COVID-19 and continues to be the only county in the High Community Level of risk due to recent outbreaks. The best way to prevent serious COVID-19 illness is to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.