WISCONSIN — Wisconsin health officials are urging residents to get the latest COVID-19 booster as shipments begin arriving this fall.
The FDA has authorized and the CDC has recommended the updated COVID boosters, also known as bivalent boosters. Places where you received your shots before, like the pharmacy, health centers, and clinics, should be offering appointments to get boosters soon, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said Wednesday.
Everyone 12 years and older is eligible for the updated COVID-19 boosters. DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake urged everyone to make a plan to get their shots this fall.
“This is especially important for people 50 and older and those who are immunocompromised," Timberlake said.
Hayat Pharmacy received the Pfizer bivalent booster Tuesday and already boosted more than 100 Wisconsinites.
Richard Fuchs drove from Fox Point to Hayat Pharmacy in Milwaukee to get boosted because of his compromised immune system.
"It's very important that I do whatever I can to make sure I keep my immune as boosted as possible," Fuchs said.
Dr. Dan Shirley with UW Health calls the timing ideal with children going back to school and the holiday season around the corner.
"We are in a position where we've matched up what's in the vaccine with what is actually causing problems in the community," Shirley said.
This is the first Omicron-specific vaccine to be made available in the U.S. They target the original COVID strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. The latter is now the dominant strain in the country, making up about 90 percent of cases nationally, according to the DHS.
If you are 12 years and older, you can get the updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster. If you are 18 years and older, you can get the updated Moderna COVID-19 booster. These replace the original booster shots many received earlier this year.
If you are 11 years old and younger, you can still get the original COVID booster shot, but not the updated versions.
For free, confidential support finding health care and community resources near you, dial 211. For information, resources, and data related to Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination program, visit their COVID-19 vaccine webpage.
Hayat Pharmacy has the Pfizer booster and expect to get Moderna in this week.