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CDC: Don’t use monovalent COVID vaccine boosters for adolescents, adults

September 7, 2022

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The original monovalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters cannot be used for adolescents and adults who are eligible for the new bivalent boosters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Vaccinators who mistakenly use the monovalent vaccine must submit a report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) regardless of whether an adverse event occurred.

On Sept. 1, the CDC signed off on bivalent COVID vaccine boosters designed to better protect against the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster can be used for people ages 12 years and older, and the Moderna bivalent booster can be used for people ages 18 years and older. A single bivalent booster can be administered two months after a primary series or booster with any monovalent COVID-19 vaccine. A bivalent vaccine cannot be used for the primary series.

In authorizing the new bivalent boosters, health officials removed authorization for monovalent boosters for people ages 12 years and older. The CDC has laid out steps vaccinators should take in the event of a vaccine administration error:

If a monovalent booster is incorrectly used instead of a bivalent booster, the dose does not need to be repeated. If a repeat dose is desired based on clinical judgment or patient preference, it should be given at least two months after the errant dose, according to the CDC.

If a bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is incorrectly administered as part of a primary series, do not repeat the dose. If a bivalent Moderna vaccine is incorrectly administered as part of a primary series, repeat the dose immediately because Moderna boosters are lower doses than Moderna primary series vaccines.





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