COVID boosters targeting omicron are here, in limited supply

The new bivalent shot offers some protection against the variant now causing nearly all infections.

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EVERETT — Time to roll up your sleeve again.

Maybe.

The new COVID-19 bivalent booster is in town to try to take a bite out of omicron, but supplies are limited.

“We expect initial demand to exceed available inventory before resolving in the coming weeks,” the Washington State Department of Health news release said.

The state’s initial allocation of 191,100 bivalent booster doses started Sept. 5. Weekly allotments will follow to build the state’s inventory over time. Doses are made by both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Bivalent boosters aim to provide better protection from the variants. The booster is half the original vaccine and half protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron versions now causing nearly all COVID-19 infections.

The DOH site, vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov, lists providers, pharmacies and grocery stores offering the new boosters.

“We ask customers to make an appointment at this point due to high demand and limited supply,” QFC spokesperson Tiffany Sanders said Friday.

People 18 and older who have completed a primary vaccine series can receive either company’s bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose. Those 12 to 17 who have completed the primary series can get the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster at least two months after their most recent dose.

Ages 5 to 11 who have completed Pfizer-BioNTech’s primary vaccine series should continue to receive the company’s original monovalent booster at least five months after their most recent dose. Children ages 6 months to 4 years are currently not authorized for any COVID-19 boosters.

Washington has had 14,020 COVID-19 deaths and nearly 1.8 million cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic.

The state continues to offer free at-home rapid tests — up to 10 per month, mailed to your door — via sayyescovidhometest.org.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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