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Says newly available vaccines protect against omicron variants, boost previous vaccination protection
Submitted by the Erie County Department of Health
On Sept. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new coronavirus vaccine booster recommendations, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized updated, new booster formulas from both Pfizer and Moderna – “bivalent” vaccines.
What is a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine? These are new COVID-19 vaccine boosters that include components of the omicron subvariant and the original SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. These new vaccines are designed to give broad protection against COVID-19, including better protection against the omicron variant that is currently circulating in our community. These newest subvariants are more contagious and able to evade protection that a person might have against earlier subvariants. Booster doses can also restore protection against illness that may have decreased since your last vaccine.
The department ordered bivalent Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. ECDOH received its shipment of Pfizer vaccine booster doses earlier today. ECDOH expects to receive Moderna vaccine booster doses by the end of this week, and will announce when those are available.
ECDOH will offer the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster to people ages 12 and older at its mobile vaccine clinics and at the Jesse Nash Health Center (608 William St., Buffalo) starting Wednesday.
The Jesse Nash Health Center provides vaccine from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The schedule is posted at www.erie.gov/vax and updated regularly. Appointments are suggested, but not required. Please bring photo ID and vaccine card, if available.
ECDOH is confirming COVID-19 vaccine clinics for September and October at community sites and senior centers throughout Erie County. This schedule will be updated regularly at www.erie.gov/vax.
Erie County residents may also schedule a free “Vax Visit” at home for any coronavirus vaccine first doses, second doses and boosters. Call 716-858-2929 to be scheduled.
The CDC recommends that everyone stay up-to-date on vaccinations. Those who are eligible should get a new booster dose at least two months after completing their primary series or at least two months after receiving a booster.
Pfizer’s updated booster dose is recommended for individuals 12 and older, and Moderna’s updated booster dose is recommended for adults 18 and older.
Eligibility for this booster depends on:
√ Your age
√ When you finished primary vaccination
√ When received your most recent booster dose of a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine
The CDC website has a “When are you up to date?” tool. This guides you through questions about your COVID-19 vaccine history; based on your responses, it provides guidance on getting the updated booster. Talk to your doctor with questions about COVID-19 vaccine and your risk of moderate and severe illness.
√ Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), COVID-19: www.erie.gov/covid19
√ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
√ New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 boosters: http://ny.gov/boosters
√ U.S. Food and Drug Administration, bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine boosters: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-bivalent-vaccine-boosters