After the federal government’s approval, the state now has “bivalent” booster shots available that target the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Michigan’s health officials said Wednesday.
The updated, or bivalent, boosters target the most recent COVID-19 Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, which are more contagious and more resistant than earlier strains of Omicron, as well as the original strain of the virus.
The FDA and CDC have approved the use of the Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine for ages 12 and older and the Moderna bivalent vaccine for ages 18 and older.
People ages 12 and older who have completed any “monovalent” primary series of shots, as in 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, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said.
State health officials have 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.
“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, 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.”
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, as are residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks can spread quickly and extra protection is strongly recommended.
The 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.
Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans also announced on Thursday that the Wayne County Health Department will begin administering Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster shots. Bivalent boosters and all COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to eligible residents at all Wayne County-sponsored vaccine sites.
“COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are the single most effective tool against this virus,” said Executive Evans. “For better protection and to help keep the pandemic manageable as we enter into the fall and winter months – we strongly encourage all eligible residents to receive the bivalent booster and stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.”
Please visit www.waynecounty.com/COVID19 for the most up-to-date list of hours and locations for Wayne County Health Department COVID-19 vaccination sites. Each site offers vaccinations and boosters for individuals 6 months and older, at no-cost. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, including scheduling in-home vaccinations for homebound residents, please call 1-866-610-3885.