Local health departments prep for updated COVID vaccine

Local4 News at 6
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:26 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - After months of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, health departments across Nebraska are issuing an update.

They’re now turning to the monovalent booster shot, which received CDC approval on Tuesday. At the Central District Health Department in Grand Island, they don’t have the new vaccine on hand yet, but health director Teresa Anderson says if you just received a shot of what’s now the old booster - there’s no need for concern.

”It’s not that it’s not effective, and it’s not that people who got it should be worried about it,” Anderson said. “It still covers the current circulating virus, but we’re going with this new one now, so anyone who’s seeking a shot now will be getting the COVID monovalent booster.”

While the newest booster received approval Tuesday, the CDC also urged all health departments to stop administering the bivalent booster on Monday, which means if you want a vaccine right now, you’ll have to wait.

“We’re going to order from two separate sites,” she said. “One of them is a government site for folks who don’t have insurance or are under-insured, so we can provide vaccines for them. The other is directly from Pfizer and Moderna, so we’ll be getting those doses in as soon as we’re able to place the order, which is probably the middle of next week.”

As for the ages that are eligible - your kids will be safe on the smaller dose options.

”The vaccine is authorized for folks 16 and up, but we know that what we might see is that four and up require one dose six months to four months - it may be similar to when a child’s getting their first flu shot, and they need to have a series of shots. We don’t know that yet.”