Evanston encourages new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine after CDC authorization


Daily file illustration by Hank Yang

Following the CDC’s Thursday authorization, bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines are available for eligible individuals ages 12 and older at local pharmacies. Children between the ages of five and 11 are the only group still eligible for monovalent booster doses.

Angeli Mittal, Digital Managing Editor

Evanston’s updated COVID-19 vaccination recommendations encourage individuals ages 12 and older to receive the new bivalent booster targeted toward omicron variant in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sept. 1 authorization.

The previous booster shot was developed in response to the original strain of COVID-19. The new Moderna and Pfizer bivalent booster shots are designed to target both the original strain as well as the more infectious omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. These strains account for more than 90% of current COVID-19 infections nationwide.

Individuals who are at least two months past their last COVID-19 vaccination are encouraged to schedule an appointment for a bivalent booster dose. As of Sept. 1, individuals 18 years and older who have completed a primary series vaccination are eligible for the Moderna booster, whereas those 12 and older may receive a Pfizer booster dose.

The original booster shot — with its most recent expanded eligibility to individuals five and older as of May — will be discontinued for individuals ages 12 and older. However, children between the ages of five and 11 are recommended by the CDC to receive the original Pfizer booster shot.

The city will focus its distribution of the bivalent vaccines toward Evanston residents who are homebound due to medical conditions or disability. Those individuals are encouraged to complete the city’s at-home bivalent COVID-19 shot survey online.

Other Evanston residents can receive a booster shot at retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS or through their primary care physician.

Last week, the city reported 51 new COVID-19 cases compared to 39 the previous week.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @amittal27

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