Bivalent COVID-19 boosters now available

·2 min read

CORNWALL – A new COVID-19 booster is now available through the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

The booster, offered by Moderna, is a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine meaning it protects against the original strain of the virus and also protects against some of the Omicron sub-variants.

Formulated to provide protection against the Omicron BA.1 sub-variant, the EOHU says the preliminary study results show the new vaccine booster provides protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants that were the cause of most cases in the recent wave of COVID-19 infections.

Health Canada approved the variant booster in August and the federal government procured an initial order of 12 million doses for residents across Canada.

“As fall begins and we enter yet another cold and flu season combined with COVID-19, I’m glad we now have access to this new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, EOHU medical officer of health in a release.

“I encourage everyone to get the new booster dose as I believe it will have a much better ability to prevent Omicron infections and prevent severe disease. As COVID-19 becomes one of the normally circulating viruses in the community, this booster will help us continue on our path out of the pandemic phase and into more normalcy.”

Initial appointments for the bivalent booster are available through the provincial COVID-19 vaccine booking tool (covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/) and are available for individuals age 70 and older, healthcare workers age 18 and older, residents in congregate settings (retirement homes, long-term care homes) and people who are Indigenous (age 18 and older) or immuno-compromised (age 12 and older).

Appointments for adults 18 and older will be available beginning September 26.

In order to receive a bivalent COVID-19 booster, it must be three months from your last COVID-19 vaccine booster or initial dose.

Non-bivalent boosters remain available at the six EOHU offices, and at many pharmacies and doctor’s offices in the EOHU region.

Local numbers

The EOHU reported September 9 that COVID-19 infections continue to decline overall.

Ten people were reported in hospital with COVID-19 as the primary reason for their admission, one person was in intensive care.

The overall percentage positivity of COVID-19 in the region was 8.6 per cent. The K0C postal code prefix (FSA) was reported at 7.9 per cent.

Wastewater testing for Morrisburg showed an increase between September 1-6. The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 in wastewater nearly tripled from 2.1 genetic copies per millilitre of wastewater to 5.8 gc/ml. Morrisburg peaked in August 5 at 49.4 gc/ml.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader