Starting this week, bivalent COVID-19 boosters are available in Michigan 

Marla Moss receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the Kent County Health Department. (Michigan Advance)

By Jon King, Michigan Advance

In an effort to help contain the omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ has recommended use of the Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine for ages 12 years and older and the Moderna bivalent vaccine for ages 18 years and older.

The recommendation followed the Aug. 31 decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine for booster doses.

To schedule a primary or booster dose of the COVID vaccine, visit vaccines.gov.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.

For more information about COVID-19 in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus.

“This is great news as we go into the fall and winter when we expect cases of COVID-19 to increase,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) chief medical executive. “The bivalent booster will help fight the Omicron subvariants, including BA.4 and 5. COVID-19 vaccines remain our best defense against the virus, and we recommend all Michiganders stay up to date.”

The Moderna and Pfizer bivalent boosters target both the original strain of the COVID-19 virus as well as the two most widely-spread omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5). 

Anyone 18 years of age and older is eligible for a single booster dose of the bivalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine. 

Meanwhile, individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

According to DHHS, individuals may choose to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster, regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose they had previously. 

Also, influenza vaccines, which are now available in Michigan, can also be co-administered with the COVID-19 bivalent booster doses.

To date, nearly 6.8 million Michiganders ages 5 and up have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. 

In addition to staying up to date on vaccinations, especially residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks can spread quickly and extra protection is strongly recommended, state health officials also encourage Michigan residents to pay attention to local guidance as some communities may be at a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

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