FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2022
Milwaukee Health Department Begins Implementation of Updated COVID-19 Booster Vaccine to Target Omicron Subvariant
The bivalent vaccination is available from September 12
MILWAUKEE – Following clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS), the Milwaukee Department of Health is pleased to begin implementing the updated unit dose bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine on Monday, September 12, 2022 at the Menomonee Valley Drive-Thru Clinic (2401 W. St. Paul Ave.) and at Northwest Health Center (7630 W. Mill Rd.) and Southside Health Center ( 1639 S. 23rd St.) begins Tuesday, September 13.
These updated boosters are the first COVID-19 vaccines provided specifically to target the original strain of COVID-19 as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. Currently, the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant is the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Milwaukee, as well as nationally.
“The best way to protect against severe illness from COVID-19 continues to be vaccination,” said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. “For many of us, it’s been months since our last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or booster, and those defenses have weakened. I strongly encourage everyone to seek this updated booster dose to restore these protections. For those who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination, it is never too late. Please get vaccinated today.”
Updated boosters are recommended for people 12 years of age and older who have received their main series of COVID-19 vaccines and have not received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months. People 12 and older are eligible to receive Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 booster, and those 18 and older are eligible to receive Moderna’s updated COVID-19 booster. Updated Pfizer and Moderna boosters can be administered two months after any main series – including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or Novavax – or two months after each additional original booster dose.
In these age groups, these updated bivalent boosters replace the original boosters, which will no longer be available for ages 12 and older. Children aged 5 to 11 years are still eligible for the original COVID-19 booster, which provides protection against the original strain of COVID-19. This age group is expected to be eligible for updated boosters in the coming months.
The working hours of the immunization offices are:
- Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Center
- Tuesday and Thursday: 2 – 6 p.m
- Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m
- Menomonee Valley Drive-Thru Clinic
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12:00 – 18:00
- Tuesday and Thursday: 9 am – 3 pm
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m
Updated booster doses for COVID-19 will be administered free of charge without an appointment for all eligible individuals 12 years of age and older. No proof of insurance is required to receive the vaccine. More information about the Milwaukee Department of Health’s immunization clinics can be found at Milwaukee.gov/COVIDvax.
People can safely get their COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, including the annual flu shot. Flu shots will be available at all MHD immunization clinics starting Monday, and routine childhood immunizations are currently available at Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Center immunization clinics.
In addition to Milwaukee Health Department clinics, many other pharmacies, health care providers and local health departments also have COVID-19 vaccines and boosters available. Visit vaccines.gov, HealthyMKE.com or contact your local health department to find a vaccine near you.