DALLAS – The updated bivalent COVID-19 booster is now available for Dallas County residents. This booster is designed to provide an immune response to protect against the original strain of COVID-19 and the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized bivalent formulations of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use as a single booster dose at least two months following primary or booster vaccination. Most COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are caused by the omicron variant BA.3 and BA.5 and are predicted to circulate this fall and winter, according to the FDA.
This updated COVID-19 booster is referred to as a “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccine because it includes two components, the original strain of COVID-19 and the omicron variant. While the original vaccines and boosters are monovalent, meaning they only had components of the original coronavirus strain.
Recently, Dallas County lowered its COVID-19 risk level from orange to yellow, under the “proceed carefully” guidance. With the return of students and teachers to school and the fall and winter seasons approaching, Parkland Health officials are encouraging those eligible to receive the vaccine to get it.
“While the numbers go down for adults and older individuals, school-aged children still continue to pass around COVID. Please protect your children and those around them by getting them vaccinated,” said Joseph Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Parkland.
Current FDA guidance recommends the following:
- Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine bivalent if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
- Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine bivalent if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Parkland Health offers COVID-19 testing and vaccines to the public at Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) health centers located throughout Dallas County by appointment only. Individuals are reminded to bring their vaccine card and a form of identification. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Additionally, most pharmacies and pediatricians’ offices offer testing and at-home test kits can also be used to test children for COVID.
To schedule an appointment:
- Individuals can call the Parkland COVID-19 helpline at 214-590-7000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday to schedule an appointment. Representatives are available in English and Spanish.
Please do not come to Parkland’s Emergency Room or Urgent Care Emergency Center for a testing or vaccine appointment.
COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are available at no cost to the patient, but Parkland may charge your insurance company or third-party payor (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, etc.).
“Remember that the bivalent vaccine is the only vaccine that specifically protects against omicron variants in addition to the original COVID virus,” said Joseph Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Parkland.
For more information about COVID-19 testing, please visit https://www.parklandhealth.org/covid-19-testing. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit https://www.parklandhealth.org/covid-19-vaccines.
Parkland Health, Department of Corporate Communications
5200 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas TX 75235, 469-419-4400