COVID-19 bivalent mRNA booster shots are available at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) with second doses of the booster now being offered to adults age 65 and older as well as immunocompromised people 6 years and older. Those who are eligible and interested can receive the bivalent booster by scheduling an appointment with their Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) primary care physician’s office.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently amended the emergency use authorizations of the COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The new guidelines recommend the use of bivalent mRNA vaccines for all primary vaccine series and booster shots. The bivalent vaccines include the original COVID vaccine as well as an updated component aimed at the BA.4 and BA.5 variants which currently cause the majority of worldwide COVID infections. The original monovalent vaccines will no longer be available for use in the United States.
The CDC recommends bivalent boosters for everyone 6 months and older who has completed the initial vaccine series but has not received a bivalent booster. In addition, the CDC authorized a second bivalent booster for the two groups with the greatest risk of severe COVID infections – adults age 65 and older and people with immunocompromising conditions. However, to receive a second bivalent booster, it must be at least four months since the first bivalent booster was administered.