news updated covid 19 booster vaccines now available in blue ridge health district

Updated COVID-19 booster vaccines now available in Blue Ridge Health District

vaccine healthcare
Photo Credit: Dmitry Lobanov

The Blue Ridge Health District will begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines to eligible community members today.

The new updated boosters are targeted specifically at the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant that initially emerged in the United States in November 2021.

On August 31, the Food and Drug Administration granted an Emergency Use Authorization to the two vaccines.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel of independent scientific advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, met September 1 and voted to recommend:

  • the Pfizer-BioNTech updated bivalent vaccine for persons aged 12 years and older
  • the Moderna updated bivalent vaccine for persons aged 18 years and older
  • at least 2 months after completion of a primary series or booster dose

The CDC director endorsed the ACIP recommendations on September 1, and the Blue Ridge Health District received the booster vaccines on September 6 and 7.

Community members can schedule an appointment for a bivalent booster vaccine through the VASE+ system here.

The vaccine will be free and available to everyone ages 12+ who is eligible, regardless of citizenship status.

BRHD will host vaccine clinics at local health departments, MOBI on the Mall on Wednesdays, a drive-through clinic on September 19, along with other community-based clinics as available.

A complete list of BRHD-hosted clinics can be found on the VDH vaccine webpage here.

According to a news release, appointments will be limited at BRHD. Pharmacies and healthcare providers should also be able to provide the latest booster vaccines.

To find free vaccination opportunities near you:

Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.