Bivalent COVID vaccine could be available soon, variants continue to spread

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -The bivalent covid vaccines could be available in the U.S. as early as next week, following the FDA and CDC’s approval of the shots earlier this week.

According to the FDA, the new vaccines or updated booster provide a response to the original strain of the virus and adds MRNA components of the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

Dr. Bill Petri with UVA Health said those variants make up more than 90% of all new cases.

“The original vaccines will protect you from very severe illness which will protect you from being hospitalized. It is not doing a good job of protecting you from getting infected. That is one of the things that the new bivalent booster will do, it will give you better protection from being infected,” Dr. Petri said.

He said the updated boosters will likely be an annual occurrence as the virus continues to mutate and immunity wanes.

Everyone 12-years-old and older can get a shot if it has been at least two months after they have completed their primary vaccination or got their most recent booster.

“Why wait an additional four months when you would be at risk of getting infected with this new sub-variant Omicron?” Dr. Petri said.

For more information on the bivalent boosters from Pfizer and Moderna, click here.