Michigan to begin bivalent COVID booster vaccine shots this week: What to know

Boosters target two strains of COVID-19

This August 2022 photo provided by Pfizer shows vials of the company's updated COVID-19 vaccine during production in Kalamazoo, Mich. U.S. regulators have authorized updated COVID-19 boosters, the first to directly target today's most common omicron strain. The move on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2022, by the Food and Drug Administration tweaks the recipe of shots made by Pfizer and rival Moderna that already have saved millions of lives. (Pfizer via AP) (Uncredited)

Michigan health officials are planning to begin the rollout of newly updated COVID-19 booster shots this week.

The FDA and CDC granted Emergency Use Authorization for bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster shots last week, from Moderna and Pfizer. The CDC recommended the Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine for ages 12 years and older and the Moderna bivalent vaccine for ages 18 years and older.

Michiganders can begin getting the bivalent vaccines as they become available. MDHHS has worked with vaccine providers across the state to ensure they were prepared for the arrival of the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines. Older formulations of booster doses will no longer be available to persons 12 and older as the FDA has removed authorization for those boosters.

The Moderna and Pfizer bivalent boosters target two strains of COVID-19 – the original strain of the virus and the most widely-spread Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5). Individuals ages 12 years and older who have completed any FDA-approved or FDA-authorized monovalent primary series (Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax or Johnson & Johnson) or previously received monovalent booster doses are eligible to receive one bivalent (Pfizer or Moderna) COVID-19 booster.

To locate providers offering the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent booster doses check your local pharmacy or visit vaccines.gov, which will be updated with bivalent booster locations soon.

Who is eligible to receive a single bivalent booster dose and when:

  • Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the bivalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least two months since they completed primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals may choose to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster, regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose they had previously. Influenza vaccines, which are now available in Michigan, can also be co-administered with the COVID-19 bivalent booster doses.

To date, nearly 6.8 million Michiganders ages 5 and up have gotten at least their first dose of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Eligible Michiganders are encouraged to stay up to date on vaccinations, which includes booster doses that provide extra protection, and residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks can spread quickly and extra protection is strongly recommended.

“This is great news as we go into the fall and winter when we expect cases of COVID-19 to increase,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) chief medical executive. “The bivalent booster will help fight the Omicron subvariants, including BA.4 and 5. COVID-19 vaccines remain our best defense against the virus, and we recommend all Michiganders stay up to date.”


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.