Health

New, Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot now available at local providers, according to Kenosha County health official

The new, Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot is now available at local providers, and people ages 12 and up are encouraged receive it, according to Kenosha County Board of Health President Dr. Diane Gerlach.

Gerlach said Thursday the updated shot, known as the bivalent booster, can help restore protection from COVID-19 that has decreased since previous vaccination, while providing broader protection against new variants of the virus.

When COVID shots first came out, the CDC recommended waiting two weeks before or after getting another vaccine. Now, however, that guidance has changed.



“This is the latest tool that we have available to help minimize the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19,” Gerlach said. “As we head into the fall, we strongly encourage people to protect themselves and others around them by making sure they’re up to date with their vaccines.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the updated booster for people who have received the initial primary series of COVID-19 vaccines (two doses of Moderna, Pfizer or Novavax, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) who have not had their most recent primary or booster dose in at least two months.

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People ages 18 and older may choose between the updated Moderna or Pfizer boosters; those 12 to 17 may only receive the updated Pfizer booster.

Kenosha County Public Health currently has supply of the updated Pfizer booster and is awaiting delivery of the Moderna shot, while other local providers have both varieties.

To find a local vaccine provider, visit the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub website at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.

The CDC recommends that everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, including all primary series doses and boosters for their age group. The current eligibility schedule is as follows:

• People ages 6 months through 4 years: Should get all COVID-19 primary-series doses.

• People ages 5 years and older: Should get all primary-series doses and the booster dose recommended for them:

• People ages 5 to 11 years are currently recommended to get the original (monovalent) booster.

• People ages 12 and older are recommended to receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent) booster. (Pfizer-only for people ages 12-17.) This includes people who have received all primary-series doses and people who have previously received one or more original (monovalent) boosters.

• People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised: There are different booster recommendations in place for these populations. More details are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.

“Find Out When You Can Get Your Booster Tool”: The CDC offers an online tool in which people can answer a few quick questions to find out when to get a booster. It is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html.

Note about mixing vaccine varieties: The CDC advises that people may receive either the Pfizer or Moderna booster, regardless of the type of vaccine they received for their primary series.

Individuals can also receive a booster and a flu shot. The CDC and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommend dual vaccinating in the fall for COVID-19 and influenza.

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