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COVID-19 Booster Vaccines Available In Catawba County

Vaccine providers in Catawba County and throughout North Carolina are currently rolling out updated COVID-19 boosters that became available this week for adults and children over the age of 12.

Catawba County Public Health and other vaccine providers are administering doses of the updated Pfizer and Moderna boosters, which were developed and authorized using a process much like the annual flu shot, where the booster is matched to the original virus as well as to the most commonly circulating strains. Health officials say this helps provide enhanced protection against severe COVID-19 disease.

The updated booster is referred to as a bivalent vaccine as it targets both the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. It relies on safety and efficacy data from initial clinical trials, studies of bivalent boosters, and extensive safety and effectiveness monitoring.

As of mid-August, these subvariants made up nearly 90% of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina. People ages 5-11 years can still receive the original booster. We expect that the updated booster will be available for younger people in the coming weeks, but do not have a specific timeline for when it will be authorized by the FDA and CDC.

COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. People should get the updated COVID-19 booster two months after they finish their primary series or any booster dose. Vaccine locations can be found at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines, or individuals can call Catawba County Public Health at 828-282-2002 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted.