By Maayan Silver Maayan Silver has been a reporter with WUWM’s News Team since 2018.
Milwaukee, WI, September 2022: Updated COVID-19 boosters are now available in Wisconsin for those 12 and older. The bivalent vaccine protects against the original virus strain as well as the two most prevalent Omicron strains: BA.4 and BA.5. People over 12 can get the updated booster, younger kids can get the old booster For people over 12, the updated booster vaccine replaces the previous Pfizer and Moderna shots, explains Dr. Ryan Westergaard. He's the chief medical officer and state epidemiologist for communicable diseases with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
“The updated Pfizer COVID-19 Booster is recommended for everyone 12 and older and the updated Moderna COVID-19 Booster is recommended for everyone 18 and older,” Westergaard says. Kids under 12 are still able to get the older monovalent booster shots after getting fully vaccinated. You can get your COVID-19 booster and flu shot at the same time We’re also heading into flu season. And there’s a vaccine for that too, which you can get at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccines, says Dr. Smriti Khare, chief mental and behavioral health officer at Children’s Wisconsin. “And we're definitely asking that people consider getting their flu vaccine before October, and get the boosters for COVID-19 at the same time so that we can have a better winter with less infectious disease in our communities,” she says. You can figure out the timing of the COVID-19 booster that works for you If you’re wondering how soon you can get your booster after receiving a previous COVID-19 vaccine, Wisconsin’s Health Department supports the CDC recommendations. “Which is that if two months or more have gone by since your most recent COVID-19 vaccine, whether that be the completion of the primary series or a previous monovalent booster, you're eligible to receive the bivalent booster that are newly available,” says Westergaard.
CDC vaccine advisors have said that people who recently had COVID-19 may consider delaying a booster shot by three months.
People who are at high risk should get their vaccine boosters as soon as possible, says Westergaard. “And those risk factors include age over 50 and comorbidities such as underlying lung disease, cancer or a condition that gives someone a weak immune system," he says. Find a place to schedule your COVID-19 booster at vaccines.gov Westergaard says it’s easy to find a place near you to get the updated COVID-19 booster and to schedule appointments.
”If people are interested in knowing whether a vaccine is available, or where vaccine is available in their community, then go to vaccines.gov. [They] put in their zip code, and the inventory of the pharmacy partners that have received the vaccine from the federal government are listed there, often with a link to the website to make an appointment,” he says. And, it's free COVID-19 vaccines remain available to all Wisconsinites at no cost regardless of immigration or health insurance status.