VALDOSTA – All South Health District Health Departments will begin offering Moderna/Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent boosters on September 8, 2022.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend the bivalent booster manufactured by Pfizer for individuals aged 12 and older; and they recommend the bivalent booster by Moderna for adults aged 18 and older.
The current COVID booster doses contain the genetic recipe for the original strain of COVID-19. The bivalent vaccine contains the genetic recipes for two versions of COVID- 19; the original strain, plus the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, offering better protection against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants. People should wait at least two months after completing their initial vaccination or their last booster shot before getting the bivalent booster.
At this time, the bivalent vaccine is considered only a booster. It is not to be used as the initial two-dose COVID vaccine. The monovalent mRNA CVOID-19 vaccines will still be administered for the primary series of vaccine and as a booster for children under the age of 12.
Georgia is currently seeing an average of 3,000 cases of COVID reported a week. More than 89% of newly reported COVID cases are caused by the BA.5 variant. Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID continue to decrease in the state.
In addition to vaccination and boosters, basic prevention measures should also be followed to help prevent further spread of COVID and mitigate outbreaks of infection, especially in public settings: wear a mask, physically distance, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Residents should call their local health department to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine or booster appointment.