To better help fight the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for bivalent COVID-19 vaccine for booster doses. This was followed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation for use of the Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine for ages 12 years and older and the Moderna bivalent vaccine for ages 18 years and older.
“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 (MDHHS) 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 two strains of COVID-19 – the original strain of the virus and the most widely-spread Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5). Individuals ages 12 years and older who have completed any FDA-approved or FDA-authorized monovalent primary series (Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax or Johnson & Johnson) or previously received monovalent booster doses are eligible to receive one bivalent (Pfizer or Moderna) COVID-19 booster.
Michiganders can begin getting the bivalent vaccines as they become available. MDHHS has worked with vaccine providers across the state to ensure they were prepared for the arrival of the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines. Older formulations of booster doses will no longer be available to persons 12 and older as the FDA has removed authorization for those boosters.
To locate providers offering the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent booster doses check your local pharmacy or visit vaccines.gov, which will be updated with bivalent booster locations soon.
Who is eligible to receive a single bivalent booster dose and when:
- Individuals 18 years of age and older are 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.
- 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.
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. 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 gotten at least their first dose of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Eligible Michiganders are encouraged to stay up to date on vaccinations, which includes booster doses that provide extra protection, and residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks can spread quickly and extra protection is strongly recommended.
MDHHS also encourages Michigan residents to pay attention to local guidance as some communities may be at a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.
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 news release was provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.