WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Something different is coming to a vaccine provider near you, it’s a COVID-19 booster unlike any shots administered since vaccines became available nearly two years ago.
The CDC signed off Thursday on what are reformulated COVID shots. The vaccine not only targets the original COVID strain, but also the highly contagious Omicron subvariants.
Vaccine providers are now preparing to get those shots into arms.
“As you can see the color coding is different for five to twelve-year-olds,” Doctor Jeffery Kile, a Pediatrician at PAK Pediatrics explained.
Another difference is coming to PAK Pediatrics and other COVID vaccine providers, a newly approved booster shot for people 12 and older that’s unlike any other to date.
“This is the first change in the vaccine since the original one came out in 2020 where it’s actually now a bivalent vaccine,” Dr. Kile continued.
That means besides targeting the original COVID-19 strain, it helps fight the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.
Including 12-year-olds and teenagers among those eligible for this specific booster is something Dr. Kile considers key.
“Children are vulnerable and children do spread diseases as much as adults do and they’re actually a lot of times around in more social circles than sometimes adults are,” Dr. Kile told Eyewitness News.
In order to get this specific booster, you need to have received the current first two COVID-19 vaccinations.
“This current vaccine that we have has prevented hospitalization and death and that’s the primary endpoint here,” Dr. Kile stated.
“My wife and I, we both caught COVID after having both boosters but we weren’t very sick from it,” said Ron Slusser of Wilkes-Barre.
When asked if he’s up for another shot, Slusser didn’t mince words.
“I’d rather get the vaccine and be protected and if I get it, at least have a weak case of it rather than having full force,” Slusser explained.
He said he’s ready to do it for himself, and his family.
“It would be nice to have holidays and have everything return to normal again,” Slusser stated.
Dr. Kile said the timing couldn’t be better for this specific COVID booster given that schools are starting up and a surge of the virus is expected this fall.
You need to wait two months after getting your second primary shot to get this new booster. It’s unclear how much more protection it will provide since test effectiveness on it have just begun.