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Can you get the latest COVID-19 booster?

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COVID Booster

Entrance to UW Medical Center, one of several local spots offering a COVID booster.

As of Sept. 2, the latest COVID-19 bivalent booster became available from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both approved the booster for most of the general public.

The Pfizer-BioNTech booster is available to people ages five and older who have either completed the primary COVID-19 vaccination series at least two months ago or received their last booster at least two months ago. The Moderna booster is available to people ages six and older who meet the same criteria as stated above. The FDA has also stated that one’s booster is not required to be the same COVID-19 vaccine as their initial dose(s).

The difference between the bivalent booster and the original booster is that the new booster is designed to account for the original strain of the COVID-19 virus, as well as BA.4 and BA.5 the more recent omicron subvariants.

“The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recent circulating COVID-19 variant,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants.”

There are multiple ways one can get the new booster. The Montlake and Northwest UW Medical Centers and the Harborview Medical Center are currently open to individuals seeking appointments. One can schedule an appointment for the updated booster by calling the number (844) 520-8700 to join the waitlist. Additionally, many local pharmacies are also administering the latest booster. 

“This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion,” Walenksy said. “If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”

Reach reporter Allison Schaal at news@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @allison_schaal 

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