FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans will soon be able to get an updated COVID-19 booster shot. The FDA approved the “bivalent” shot. It’s the first update of a COVID-19 vaccine to be approved.
The bivalent shots contain two virus strains. They were created to better protect people against new variants.
“One of the ‘bi’s’ is the original strain. The other part is the spike protein that is common between BA.4 and BA.5,” said Medical Director for Immunizations at the Arkansas Department of Health, Dr. Joel Tumlison.
To be eligible for at least one of the shots, you have to be 18 years old. Pfizer is authorized for age 12 and up. Moderna’s new bivalent booster is for those 18 and up. An updated booster for younger kids is in the works.
“We’re still waiting on that. It’s expected to be out within the next couple of months, maybe even in October,” said Tumlison.
Caul Corbell with Live + Well Pharmacy said he’s interested to see what the turnout for the new booster looks like. He doesn’t expect to see as many people come in for the bivalent shots as they did when the first COVID-19 booster came out.
“I think the fact that life has resumed to normal for most of us, you know, that might blunt the need, but I would definitely reccomend it to all those who are eligible for the vaccine,” said Corbell.
When looking to the future, Corbell said he could see improved COVID-19 boosters becoming more common.
“I see it being a part of normal life and probably just getting a booster every fall,” said Corbell.