Intermountain Healthcare Echoes Encouragement of CDC Approved COVID-19 Bivalent Boosters
New booster offers increased protection by adding COVID variant components.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) November 3rd, 2022
The Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention has approved updated bivalent booster vaccines for COVID that add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 components to the vaccines to increase protection against newer variants that are currently circulating in our communities.
“COVID-19 remains prevalent in our communities,” said Tamara Sheffield, MD, Intermountain Healthcare medical director of preventive medicine. “Winter is coming, and like last year, we anticipate an increase in cases. Now is the time to protect yourself.”
Individuals are eligible for a booster if it has been at least two months since completing their primary vaccination, or since their last booster. Individuals five years or older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine. Individuals six years or older can receive the Moderna COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine. Anyone that has had COVID should consider waiting six months before receiving a vaccine.
“You may choose either vaccine type if you are eligible, regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose you had previously,” said Dr. Sheffield.
“We are encouraging everyone to stay up-to-date on their immunizations, whether it is COVID or flu or other infectious disease preventing vaccines,” said Dr. Sheffield. “Data from the southern hemisphere suggests the flu season may hit us hard this winter at the same time we expect transmission of COVID-19 to increase. The updated COVID-19 vaccine can help protect us all.”
Dr. Sheffield and other healthcare officials are encouraging individuals seeking vaccination with these boosters that are widely available in the community. “Doctor’s offices, local health departments, and pharmacies are offering these boosters.”
Dr. Sheffield said side effects are similar to the primary doses of the vaccine, including injection site soreness and mild symptoms such as fever. Reports also say the booster dose of mRNA vaccines has a lower rate of rare myocarditis/pericarditis after vaccination. “Hundreds of millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in history. And those risks are very low compared to the risk from COVID-19.”
For more information on COVID and COVID vaccines, please see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/COVID.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Headquartered in Utah with locations in eight states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information and updates, click here