JCDHE to begin offering bivalent COVID-19 boosters

COVID vaccine being drawn into a needle

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will offer Pfizer and Moderna bivalent booster shots, along with other age appropriate immunizations, to those eligible starting Monday, Sept. 19 at its Olathe and Mission walk-in clinics during regular business hours.

Boosters are also available at other providers, including physician offices, pharmacies, grocery stores and local health clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed recommendations for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines to eligible individuals on Sept. 1. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has also authorized this recommendation.

The virus that causes COVID-19 changes over time. The new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters include components that provide protection against the original virus strain and the Omicron variants that are currently circulating.

Individuals who have completed their primary vaccination series, with or without a booster dose (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) at least two months ago are eligible to receive the bivalent booster. Those who have recently received Novavax are not yet eligible for any booster at this time.

The Pfizer bivalent booster is currently authorized for ages 12 and older while Moderna’s is currently authorized for 18 years of age and older. Individuals may choose to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster (depending on vaccine availability), regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose they had previously. Individuals are not required to bring their vaccination card but may do so if they choose to.  

As of Aug. 31, the current monovalent booster is not available to persons 12 and older; the Food and Drug Administration is removing authorization for those boosters to reduce provider confusion for staff administering vaccines.

As cases of COVID-19 variants continue to circulate in Johnson County and around the country, the bivalent booster dose will provide an extra layer of protection for individuals from severe disease, hospitalization and the long-term effects of COVID-19,” said Sanmi Areola, Ph.D., JCDHE director.

Those with questions about COVID-19 vaccinations can call 913-715-2819 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They can also send an email to jcdhe@jocogov.org. Emails are answered 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Spanish speakers will be available to answer calls or emails.

Those who are eligible can search for a nearby vaccine provider by visiting vaccines.gov, texting their ZIP code to 438829 or calling 1-800-232-0233.

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