With the arrival of the influenza season, healthcare professionals are encouraging individuals to get the influenza vaccine for what is anticipated to be a very active season. However, the influenza vaccine is not the only vaccine that is now being offered at Fitzgibbon-affiliated clinics. Clinics are also now offering the new Covid-19 bivalent booster vaccine.
The new bivalent Covid-19 booster vaccine is available from both Pfizer and Moderna, just as the initial doses and boosters of the Covid-19 vaccine were. But this bivalent vaccine targets additional strains of the Covid-19 virus that were not targeted by the initial vaccine.
“First, let me say that we do anticipate a very active Influenza season this year. We have already seen Influenza A and B in every month of 2022 here in the hospital,” said Jill Deweese, RN/BSN, Infection Preventionist at Fitzgibbon Hospital. “The new bivalent Covid-19 booster vaccine will target specific mutations of the virus, such as Omicron, which were not specifically targeted by the original Covid-19 vaccines and boosters. The BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of Omicron are the most prevalent strains currently seen in the U.S. ”
Individuals as young as 12 can receive the Covid-19 bivalent booster vaccine from Pfizer and people as young as18 for Moderna, but there are other guidelines for when the vaccine can be administered.
“The interval between doses is the main consideration, depending on what brand of vaccine is selected,” said DeWeese. “Pfizer requires 21 days between dose one and two of the original vaccine and the bivalent booster is administered at least two months from the second primary dose. With Moderna, 28 days between dose one and two of the original vaccine, and the bivalent booster is administered at least 60 days later.”
Fitzgibbon-affiliated clinics in Marshall, Brunswick, Slater, Fayette and Pilot Grove will administer the Covid-19 bivalent boosters on a walk-in basis on scheduled days within each clinic. To view a full calendar of days for the clinic nearest you, go to www.fitzgibbon.org/covid19.