COLUMBUS, Ohio — Shirley Simpson was determined to get the new COVID-19 bivalent vaccine. She heard they were being rolled out across the country, so she showed up to Columbus Public Health on Tuesday to get one. The problem was, the vaccines weren’t yet ready to be administered yet.
So she decided to come back the very next day when they would be. And she was one of more than one-dozen people to get the new vaccines that day.
“I just wanted to be protected,” she said. “You can’t always make other people do it, but as long as my family’s safe and I’m safe, I’m fine. But I do encourage other people to make sure they’re safe also.”
CPH received 400 bivalent vaccines, 200 Moderna and 200 Pfizer. They will be administered on the days CPH hosts clinics, with no appointment necessary.
“As the virus has slowly mutated and made changes to the spike protein, we do need a vaccine that provides better protection, not only against severe illness, which the current vaccines are holding up against and hospitalization, but prevention of infection,” said Dr. Mahdee Sobhanie, an infectious disease physician at OSU Wexner Medical Center.
The Moderna bivalent vaccine is available for those 18 and older, while the Pfizer bivalent vaccine is available for those 12 and older.
These new vaccines are designed to target both the original strain of the COVID-19 virus and also the new Omicron strains.
Health experts suggest that everyone eligible get them, at least two months after completing the first series of shots. Those who have recently had COVID should wait at least three months.
“Incredibly important to just be vigilant, just be mindful of what’s going on out in the community,” Dr. Sobhanie said.
Franklin County Public Health received 200 Pfizer versions and 100 Moderna versions and is still working out plans for administering them.
Kroger is expecting shipments this week to 18 Central Ohio locations, with more arriving next week. Those interested can make an appointment online.
Giant Eagle also is expecting shipments of both the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent vaccines this week, possibly by Thursday. Those interested can walk in and do not need an appointment.