RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Updated COVID-19 boosters are coming to North Carolina.
This week the CDC signed off on new recommendations for the updated bivalent boosters meant to add extra protection against Omicron BA .4 and BA .5 variants of COVID-19.
“With taking a booster that also includes vaccine against BA .5., the idea is I would be less likely to get BA .5 at least through the winter,” said Dr. David Wohl, an infectious disease expert with the UNC School of Medicine.
Under the new recommendations, those 18 and older are eligible to receive the updated Moderna booster while those 12 and older are eligible to receive the updated Pfizer booster.
The CDC also says they plan to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for other pediatric groups.
“BA .4 and .5 are making up the lion’s share of COVID-19 in the country right now, and a lot of folks have been exposed to other variants, whether it be an earlier omicron variant or earlier variants before Omicron. That protection is certainly helpful but not as good,” said Wohl.
Shipments of doses have already begun.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says they plan to get 500,000 doses over the next two weeks — with 229,000 of those going to pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.
U.S. residents will be eligible to get the new booster as little as two months after their last shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
For those who’ve recently had COVID-19, experts say don’t wait too long.
“If you got COVID today I would wait… but maybe not too, too long. I don’t think there’s any harm in taking it before the end of the year or even a little earlier, that would be no problem for me,” said Wohl.
Wake County plans to begin allowing residents to schedule their boosters on Wednesday September 7, with some appointments available that same day.
Wake County has five vaccination locations throughout the county. All locations and hours can be found at wakegov.com/vaccine.