Last week, the FDA and CDC approved new Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent boosters that are specifically tailored to combat the two most prevalent omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. Beginning September 7, the vaccines are widely available in the DMV.
The bivalent vaccines can only be used as a booster shot at least two months after the completion of the primary series – or initial required shots – or following a previous booster shot. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is authorized for those 12 years of age and older. The Moderna bivalent vaccine is authorized for use in people 18 years of age and older. More.
You can get an updated booster at any of the Montgomery County-sponsored clinics or at a private provider, such as a Giant or CVS pharmacy. Appointments are recommended, especially at county clinics. The federal vaccines.gov site provides information on pharmacies and other providers that have available booster appointments and walk-ins are welcome. Also see Maryland’s vaccine locator.
For those concerned about mRNA used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Novavax offers an alternative. It’s a traditional protein-based vaccine and does not use mRNA. People aged 12 and over who have not completed another primary COVID-19 vaccine series are eligible for Novavax, which is administered in two doses three week apart.
The county offers Novavax vaccines at its clinics by appointment only. Call the county’s COVID-19 call center at 240-777-2982 to request appointments or make an appointment online.