New Moderna Bivalent Covid Vaccine

Questions about Moderna’s new Spikevax Bivalent COVID-19 booster for adults.

It still covers the original SARS-CoV-2 virus...but also Omicron BA.1, the first circulating Omicron variant.

Explain that human data for COVID-19 vaccines with Omicron BA.1 show a better immune response against Omicron versus another original monovalent booster.

And having antibodies against BA.1 seems to also increase protection against BA.4 and BA.5, the current predominant variants.

Expect side effects similar to the monovalent vaccines.

Reinforce that UNvaccinated patients still need a PRIMARY series with the original vaccines first...before a bivalent booster.

Offer Spikevax Bivalent to all patients age 18 and up who finished a primary series or got a booster at least 3 months ago...regardless of the number of prior boosters they’ve had.

But advise eligible patients to get any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine OR the bivalent for their booster...and not delay waiting for a specific product.

Also catch patients up when giving flu or other routine immunizations (Tdap, etc). Give injections in different limbs...or at least 1 inch apart, especially with high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccines.

For now, give just ONE bivalent booster...additional boosters aren’t recommended, even for immunocompromised patients. This shift may be setting us up for annual COVID-19 boosters...similar to flu.

The Pharmacist Letter