New bivalent COVID-19 vaccines targeting omicron variants now available in Fayetteville

(Pfizer)

A new COVID-19 booster vaccine that offers protection against omicron strains of the virus is now available in Fayetteville.

The FDA last week approved the new booster shots that contain MRNA from both the original strain of the virus and a component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages.

The new shots are already available at pharmacies in Fayetteville, including Collier Drug Stores, Medical Arts Pharmacy, Walgreens, and others. Individuals are eligible for the new boosters if it has been at least two months since they have completed the primary vaccination, or if they have received the most recent booster dose of any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.

The Moderna version of the bivalent vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older, and the Pfizer-BioNTech version is available to those 12 years of age and older.

FDA officials said the new vaccines are important to provide protection against the the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant that are currently causing most cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and that are predicted to circulate this fall and winter.

“The COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, continue to save countless lives and prevent the most serious outcomes (hospitalization and death) of COVID-19,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. in a press release last week. “As we head into fall and begin to spend more time indoors, we strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to consider receiving a booster dose with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to provide better protection against currently circulating variants.”

Collier Drug Store officials said this week that all their Northwest Arkansas locations are offering both the new bivalent vaccines on a walk-in basis, with no appointment needed from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Medical Arts Pharmacy also told us this week are offering both vaccines to walk-ins Monday-Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

More information about the new bivalent booster shots are available at fda.gov.

For help locating an available vaccine, visit vaccines.gov.

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