We received so many questions regarding the new bivalent boosters, we gathered the questions and answers together in one place to make the information easier to find. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you may also try visiting https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine-faqs or submitting a new question above.

What are the new bivalent boosters?

Like other viruses, the virus that causes COVID-19 changes over time. And, just like other vaccines and boosters, doctors and researchers are continually working to improve COVID-19 vaccines.

On August 31, 2022 the FDA authorized two bivalent boosters – one by Moderna and the other by Pfizer – that are specifically formulated to protect against today’s most common COVID variants, BA.4 and BA.5, in addition to the original strain of COVID.

Who is eligible for the bivalent boosters?

The Moderna bivalent booster is authorized for those 6 and older whose last COVID vaccination or booster was at least two months ago. And, the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster is authorized for those 5 and older whose last COVID vaccination or booster was at least two months ago.

A person must have completed their primary series of COVID vaccinations to be eligible for a bivalent booster.

When can I get the bivalent booster?

The CDC recommends those who meets the following criteria get the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster:

You meet the age requirements for the booster (5 or older for Pfizer, 6 or older for Moderna).
  • It has been more than 2 months since you last COVID shot.

If you have more specific questions on your eligibility, please check with your healthcare provider.

Does the bivalent booster brand need to match my previous COVID shots?

The bivalent vaccine brand does NOT need to match the brand you received for either your primary series or previous boosters.

What if I’m just getting over COVID? Can I still get the bivalent booster?

Yes. However, since a prior COVID infection provides you with a degree of immunity, you may want to consider delaying your bivalent booster by 3 months from when your symptoms started or – if you had no symptoms – when you last received a positive COVID test.

Please note, individual factors such as your risk for severe COVID or high levels of COVID in the community should be taken info account when determining the timing of your booster shots after infection.

If you have specific questions regarding your situation, please check with your healthcare provider.

Where can I get the bivalent booster?

Your healthcare provider may be offering the bivalent booster.

Additionally, you can find booster providers near you by visiting https://www.ourbestshothawaii.org/vaccination-locations or https://www.vaccines.gov/search. On both sites, you can input your zip code and the type of booster you’re looking for to find nearby providers who have available appointments.


Sources: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-bivalent-vaccine-boosters (FDA)
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/interim-considerations-us.html (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html (CDC)
https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine#expert-videos (Mayo Clinic)
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-should-you-get-the-new-covid-booster-and-the-flu-shot (Scientific American)
https://www.adventhealth.com/blog/you-should-get-a-flu-shot-if-youve-had-covid-19-heres-why (Adventist Health)
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm#anchor_1597410034241 (CDC)
https://mvec.mcri.edu.au/smh-the-flu-shot-when-is-it-safe-to-get-it-after-having-covid (Melbourne Vaccine Education)

Updated 10/19/2022