The bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine will be the only one offered, in accordance with the recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC and FDA said the recommendation comes in order to simplify the COVID-19 vaccination process, with Americans no longer needing to worry about getting the previously recommended monovalent mRNA vaccines.
“At this stage of the pandemic, data support simplifying the use of the authorized mRNA bivalent COVID-19 vaccines and the agency believes that this approach will help encourage future vaccination,” Dr. Peter Marks of the FDA said. “COVID-19 continues to be a very real risk for many people, and we encourage individuals to consider staying current with vaccination, including with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. The available data continue to demonstrate that vaccines prevent the most serious outcomes of COVID-19, which are severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
Vulnerable populations, such as those who are immunocompromised or over the age of 65, qualify for a second dose of the bivalent booster after six months of receiving the first.
L.A. County aligned itself with the new recommendations, updating the county’s health officer order to show that bivalent boosters will be the new standard, as well as noting that healthcare workers must stay updated with their booster shots.
“It’s important that we all remember that our therapeutics and the bivalent booster are two tools that we can use to help reduce severe illness and they’re widely available in L.A. County,” L.A. County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said at an April 20 media briefing. “COVID continues to be a leading cause of death in L.A. County and across the country.”
County officials said they expect new recommendations for a seasonal booster cycle, where the vaccines will be offered seasonally. If that were to occur, the health officer order would be again updated to reflect any changes in the coming months. If the FDA and CDC do not announce changes, the county will still revise its order on September 30.
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