SEATTLE — The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and other healthcare providers will soon begin offering omicron variant-targeted booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
On Aug. 31, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized COVID-19 boosters shots with an omicron component from Pfizer and Moderna.
Pfizer’s omicron vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in people 12 and older, while Moderna’s shot is authorized for those 18 and older, according to the FDA. It will provide more protection by targeting variants that are more transmissible, according to the DOH.
The bivalent vaccines, also referred to by the FDA as “updated boosters,” contain one messenger mRNA component of the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 and another one in common with the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants.
They will be given at least two months after primary or booster vaccinations.
DOH’s updated booster dose recommendations are:
- People ages 12 to 17 who have completed a primary vaccine series can receive the Pfizer bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose.
- People 18 years and older who have completed a primary vaccine series can receive either company’s bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose.
- Those ages 5 to 11 who have completed the primary Pfizer vaccine series should continue to receive the company’s original monovalent booster at least five months after their most recent dose.
Children ages 6 months to 4 years are currently not authorized for any COVID-19 booster doses.
Doses are expected to be ready to be administered in Washington the week of Sept. 5, after the Labor Day holiday.
To find an available vaccine, visit the Vaccine Locator or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127.