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Second coronavirus disease booster vaccination now available for eligible individuals, Murphy says

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) announced Friday that eligible individuals are now able to receive a bivalent booster shot for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from either Pfizer or Moderna. – Photo by Mat Napo / Unsplash

Eligible individuals who are older than 12 years old are now able to obtain a second coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster vaccination, according to a press release from Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-N.J.) office.

The bivalent booster dose provides more protection against severe illness and death from the original COVID-19 strain as well as BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants and should be received two months after the individuals’ most recent booster shot or initial series of vaccinations.

Omicron is currently causing the most cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and is predicted to continue circulating in the fall and winter.

More than 800 of New Jersey’s vaccine providers have access to both Pfizer and Moderna bivalent boosters which are being delivered to vaccine providers, according to the release.

The new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are recommended for anyone older than age 12 and age 18 respectively, but updated boosters will soon be recommended for other pediatric age groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective and continue to protect against serious illness and save lives. With children back in school and the upcoming fall and winter holidays, the new bivalent vaccine will give New Jerseyans additional protections against these highly transmissible sub-variants,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “As always, if you have yet to get any COVID-19 vaccine or booster, we strongly encourage you to get one today to help protect yourself, your family and community.”

Approximately 54 percent of New Jerseyans have received one booster vaccine, and approximately 81 percent have completed their primary vaccination series, according to the release.

The primary series of vaccines are recommended for any individual older than 6 months, and booster shots are recommended for any person older than 5. In the future, bivalent boosters will be the only available booster vaccine.

“As we continue to adapt our response to COVID-19 to protect public health, these new boosters have been updated to target commonly-circulating variants in order to guard individuals against severe illness this fall,” Murphy said. “I continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and to stay up to date on their boosters, as vaccines are our greatest tool in the fight against COVID-19.”

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