Somerset County Offers New “Bivalent” COVID Booster That Protects Against the Original and Omicron COVID-19 Viruses
SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County’s Department of Health (SCDoH) will immediately begin offering the new “bivalent” COVID-19 booster vaccines approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. Bivalent means that the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech offer significant protection against both the original strain and the more prevalent, more contagious Omicron variant.
“COVID-19 continues to spread in our community, and the Omicron variant spreads even more quickly than earlier variants while being, thankfully, somewhat less severe,” said Commissioner Doug Singleterry, liaison to the SCDoH. “We encourage residents who have completed their vaccination or been boosted at least two months ago to come get the updated booster, and for those who have not been vaccinated to come in for their primary course.”
The new Moderna COVID-19 bivalent vaccine will be administered to residents 18 years and older, while the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine will be administered to those 12 years and older. Eligible individuals must bring proof of vaccination to receive either bivalent booster dose. All Somerset County COVID-19 vaccination clinics are listed at SoCoNJ.gov/vaxclinics.
Clinics are held each Wednesday in September at the Somerset County Senior Wellness Center in Bridgewater, 876 E. Main Street, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Vaccines for all approved age groups will be available, including Moderna for children six months to five years and Pfizer-BioNTech for children six months to four years, as well as the two-dose primary series for any resident who is still unvaccinated.
As new variants continue to emerge, it’s important to monitor your health and get tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms. The Somerset County Department of Health strongly encourages residents to follow the below recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus:
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces & crowds
- Move activities outside, when possible
- Monitor health daily and stay home when sick
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms
- Follow recommendations if you’ve been exposed
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends considering additional prevention actions when COVID-19 Community Levels are at a “medium” or “high”, such as wearing a well-fitted mask and maintaining distance from others.
It is important to stay informed through reliable resources. Follow public health experts such as the CDC at www.cdc.gov, the New Jersey Department of Health at www.nj.gov/health and the Somerset County Department of Health at SoCoNJ.gov/health.
The Somerset County Department of Health is the lead agency for public health emergency preparedness and response in Somerset County. Funding for these activities is provided by the CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement through the New Jersey Department of Health.