New COVID-19 booster shot targeting omicron variant should be widely available in coming days and weeks

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - If you can’t get one yet, you’ll be able to get the new COVID-19 booster in just a couple of days. This new round is specifically targeting the omicron variant.

The White House staff announced during a briefing on Tuesday that citizens should expect updated vaccines every year.

Once the booster starts becoming readily available in the coming days and weeks, doctors say everyone 12 and up will be eligible to get the shot. Both Pfizer and Moderna have versions, and a local doctor said they are interchangeable as long as you’ve had the original COVID-19 vaccine.

This new shot is bivalent, which means it fights both the original variant and omicron.

“It has everything that the old vaccine has, so all those protections we’ve relied on and benefited from from the original vaccine, plus it has specific engineering for the omicron variant,” said Dr. Brian Kaminski, the Vice President of Quality and Safety for Promedica.

He said the omicron variant continues to be the most prevalent COVID variant across the country, leading to the creation of this new bivalent booster.

“There has been an increase in infections, not as much as the original pandemic, but they realized we need some protection from omicron because there are still a significant number of cases occurring every day,” said Phil Nelson, the Director of Pharmacy Services at St. Vincent Perrysburg.

The doctor and pharmacist recommend everyone get the new shot to protect themselves and their loved ones best.

“It decreases the risk of transmission,” said Nelson. “It’ll decrease the risk of more infection in the community if more people are vaccinated with the new bivalent vaccine.”

It’s not readily available, but Dr. Kaminski said that should change as doses are rolled out nationwide.

“There’s going to be limited availability upfront. I have heard that there are pharmacies, even locally, that already have it, so right now, people will want to call ahead to make sure that they have not only the vaccine but the one that they want because some may prefer Moderna over Pfizer,” said Dr. Kaminski.

Both Dr. Kaminski and Nelson said that you have to wait at least two months after getting the original COVID vaccine or booster to get this new shot. If you’ve had the virus recently, they say you don’t have to wait a specific amount of time to get the new dose, but you probably will have some form of immunity from being sick.

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