Coronavirus Chronicles

Omicron Booster Shots Have Arrived in King County

It's the second approved booster for those 12 and up.

By Angela Cabotaje September 12, 2022

Rumblings this past summer about a second booster dose for those under 50 were effectively quashed at the end of July, when the Food and Drug Administration indicated a preference for omicron-tailored boosters. Early predictions said those shots wouldn't be available until October or November. 

Joke's on the naysayers because on August 31 the FDA authorized Pfizer and Moderna's bivalent shots, targeted for the OG strain and BA.4 and BA.5, for use as booster doses. The Centers for Disease Control later approved the tailored boosters as well. Pfizer's version is approved for those 12 and up; Moderna's for folks 18 and older.

According to Public Health—Seattle and King County, anyone who's at least two months out from their last booster should plan to get the new doses as soon as possible. If your last booster was in 2021, time is especially of the essence. The only exception is if you've recently had Covid. In that case, it's reasonable to wait three months before getting the new booster.

Public Health has both the updated Pfizer and Moderna boosters available Auburn's Outlet Collection vaccine site and its Eastgate Public Health Center. You can make an appointment online here. Various other vaccine sites, health clinics, hospital organizations, and pharmacies may have the updated shots as well, and you can already schedule an appointment online with Bartell and Walgreens.

According to the latest data from Public Health's Covid dashboard, those who were unvaccinated were twice as likely to get Covid, seven times as likely to be hospitalized from the disease, and 10 times as likely to die compared to those who were boosted. The hope is that these omicron-specific boosters can offer an extra layer of protection from the highly contagious subvariant before a fall or winter surge. 

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