Along with the approval of the new bivalent COVID-19 booster comes new recommendations from the CDC that everyone who is eligible should receive this booster. So who needs which vaccines and when? NOAH’s expert and Pharmacy Director, Eric Scherf weighs in on the most frequently asked questions.
Q. How is this vaccine different from previous vaccines?
A. The new bivalent COVID-19 boosters protect against the original strain of COVID and the omicron variant. Previous vaccines and boosters have only been monovalent, meaning they only offered protection against the original strain of COVID-19.
Q. Which COVID vaccines should patients have before getting this vaccine?
A. To be eligible for the bivalent COVID-19 booster, patients should have completed their primary series vaccine and any boosters at least two months ago.
Q. Which bivalent COVID-19 boosters does NOAH offer?
A. NOAH currently offers Pfizer and Moderna bivalent boosters. Availability varies by clinic so patients having a preference of manufacturer should inquire when scheduling.
Q. What ages are eligible for the bivalent COVID-19 booster?
A. Patients ages 12 and up are eligible for the Pfizer bivalent booster and ages 18 and older are eligible for the Moderna bivalent booster.
Q. Can patients get the bivalent COVID-19 booster at the same time as their flu vaccine?
A. Yes! Patients can schedule to get the flu vaccine and bivalent COVID-19 booster during the same appointment.
Q. Will the bivalent COVID-19 booster make patients sick?
A. If patients experience any side effects, expect them to be minor and brief, as with previous COVID-19 vaccines, the bivalent booster may cause pain, redness and swelling at the injection site; fatigue; headache; muscle pain; joint pain; chills; nausea/vomiting and fever.
Q. How much does the bivalent COVID-19 booster cost?
A. At this time, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are covered by the federal government. Insurance, if applicable, may be billed for costs associated with administration of the vaccine.
Q. How can I sign-up to get the bivalent COVID-19 booster?
A. Patients who would like to get the booster can request an appointment online or call 480-882-4545 to schedule.
For more details about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, feel free to ask your NOAH provider or check out the CDC website.