By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego 

At press time, the County of San Diego anticipated receiving the new COVID-19 bivalent boosters as soon as this week and beginning vaccinations shortly thereafter.

The new bivalent boosters were developed to generate an immune response from the original COVID-19 virus and BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. The Pfizer/BioNTech is for those age 12 and over, while the Moderna bivalent booster is for those age 18 and older.

“These new boosters are a welcome resource to our ongoing COVID-19 prevention efforts,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The virus remains very prevalent in our community. With this bivalent vaccine, we have an updated booster that more directly addresses the most common circulating variant, and a chance to better protect our community. I encourage everyone eligible to get boosted.”

Individuals may contact their healthcare provider or other vaccine provider, such as a pharmacy, for other local availability. Availability at County vaccine events will be updated on coronavirus-sd.com and appointments can be made through the state’s My Turn system. Initial supplies are expected to be limited.

Similar to last year, the boosters will be offered along with the flu vaccine. Vaccinations with the former booster have ended as it is no longer authorized. The new booster will serve as the replacement.