FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Local pharmacists say the new COVID-19 booster shots are going into the arms of Arkansans fast.
The updated COVID-19 booster is bivalent, which means it protects you from more than one variant of the virus.
The Pharmacy Director for Collier Drug Stores, Brenna Neumann, said previous COVID-19 vaccines are monovalent, but this booster shot will help your body fight off the newer variants such as Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.
Neumann said it’s similar to the flu shot. Each year, the shot is reformulated with what strains are most prevalent, and most have strains of both Influenza A and Influenza B. She isn’t sure how often the COVID-19 booster will be reformulated, but said for now, it’s a good idea to get a booster if you can.
Nuemann said they’ve given out several hundred of the new booster vaccine in the last couple days and had to order more of both Moderna and Pfizer.
“Typically during the fall and winter, as people remain indoors more, the cases tend to go up and we want to be protected as much as we can against the circulating variants,” said Neumann.
Neumann said those 12 and older can get the bivalent booster, as long as they’ve received their full set of the original COVID-19 vaccine and have waited two months since their last COVID-19 shot.
The bivalent COVID-19 Pfizer booster is available for anyone 12 or older and Moderna is approved for those 18 and older.
“We want to stay up to date because our immunity from the previous vaccinations do tend to wane over time,” said Nuemann.
Nuemann said the updated COVID-19 booster is offered at physician’s offices, the health department and most local pharmacies. She recommends bringing in your COVID-19 vaccination card if you plan to get the booster, that way they can see your history with a quick glance.
At Collier Drug Stores there is no appointment necessary. You can walk in Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It’s also the start of flu season, and Neumann said it’s safe to get the flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 booster. You’ll most likely receive a shot in each arm.