The Department of Health announced that vaccine providers across the state are prepared to begin administering updated COVID-19 booster vaccines as soon as they receive them.
The vaccines, which provide additional protection against the original coronavirus and Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, were recently approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after receiving emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
The new Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals 12 years of age and older, while the new Moderna booster shot is available to people 18 years of age and older.
“The updated COVID-19 booster shots will help restore protection that may have waned since previous vaccinations and provide added protection against the Omicron variant, including the highly transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 strains,”
Acting Health Secretary and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “Vaccine providers across Pennsylvania have already requested the updated vaccines, which will begin arriving in Pennsylvania as early as today and continue after Labor Day. If you are eligible, please reach out to your local vaccine provider to schedule an appointment.”
The department notes that the CDC has advised people 12 and older who have already scheduled appointments for the original booster vaccine to reschedule the appointment and ask for the updated shot. The original vaccines are no longer authorized for use as boosters for people 12 years of age and older. Those vaccines, however, are still to be used for those beginning or finishing the primary series.