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What You Need to Know about the Bivalent COVID Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Reham Okab.


As the COVID-19 virus adapts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to make adjustments on how to stay ‘up to date’ with your protection against the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this month, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  passed an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two bivalent COVID-19 vaccines. These include the Moderna Bivalent and the Pfizer Bivalent.

The CDC recommends that all persons fully immunized against COVID-19 receive the bivalent booster.

In this blog post, I will be discussing the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine and how it differs from previous vaccines (primary series or boosters).

So what exactly does bivalent mean?

Bi- meaning two and valent- meaning strain, covers two strains of the COVID-19 virus. The first strain is SARS-CoV-2; it is the same strain found in the original COVID-19 vaccine. The second and new strain covered is Omicron (BA.4/BA.5).

DB31D04C-6E0D-405E-9874-E4600A980CE1The previous vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) are monovalent vaccines which means they only cover one strain of the virus (the original strain). Both the Moderna and Pfizer Bivalent vaccines broaden your protection against the virus, keeping you ‘up to date’ with the latest recommendations.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine?

Regardless of whether you have received booster dose(s) or not, anyone who has completed their primary series on any of the approved COVID-19 monovalent vaccines is eligible to receive the bivalent vaccine. If you have not completed the primary series of vaccines, you are not eligible for any bivalent vaccine.

The FDA has authorized the use of the Moderna Bivalent vaccine for anyone 18 years or older.

As of now, the CDC only recommends one dose of the bivalent vaccine. The minimum time interval between the bivalent vaccine and your last COVID-19 vaccine dose must be at least two months.

Will these bivalent vaccines be replacing the vaccine given as a primary (first) series?

No, the bivalent vaccines will not be replacing primary series, but they will be replacing all other booster vaccines.

What if I already contracted the Omicron variant?

Whether you had the Omicron variant or not, it is recommended that you receive the bivalent vaccine if you are eligible. Just like any illness, after contracting COVID-19, your body has developed antibodies that protect you against the virus. This means there is no rush to receive the bivalent vaccine just yet. You may wait three months to get your vaccine; this gives your body’s immunity time to wear off before receiving the vaccine.

55618684-1FF1-4BC1-AA13-85BD0935BBF6Plain City Druggist is currently offering the Moderna Bivalent vaccine. There is limited supply, so, please, if you have any questions on the bivalent vaccine or your eligibility to receive the vaccine, stop by or give us a call at 614-873-0880. We’ll be happy to assist you!


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