Updated Dec. 30, 2022
Norton Healthcare is now offering the updated, bivalent COVID-19 boosters that provide greater protection against the BA.4/BA.5 omicron subvariants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 boosters on Aug. 31, 2022, for ages 12 and older; and on Oct. 12, 2022, the Pfizer booster for ages 5 through 11 and the Moderna booster for ages 6 through 11. Norton Healthcare will receive doses of the updated Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine for ages 5 through 11 on Monday, Oct. 24. If your child ages 5 to 11 has an appointment scheduled for a booster vaccination, you will be contacted to reschedule once we receive the new vaccine. Children in this age group who received a primary series with Moderna vaccine can receive the Pfizer booster.
The new boosters are called bivalent vaccines because they combine the original vaccine with additional messenger RNA (mRNA) that targets newer omicron variants, called BA.4 and BA.5. These two omicron variants are considered the most contagious yet. By mixing the two vaccine versions in one vial, the new booster specifically targets BA.4 and BA.5 while building further immunity to the original strains of the virus.
The bivalent vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have been authorized for ages 6 months and older.
Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s online scheduler can help support you in scheduling the appropriate appointment for booster vaccinations. Please consult with the CDC’s recommendations, your healthcare provider or your child’s pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about what vaccination is appropriate for you. If your child started the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series at age 4 and turned five years of age before completing all three doses, please call the Norton Healthcare COVID-19 Access Center at (502) 861-4499 to ensure your child is scheduled for the correct type of vaccine visit.
COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost. If the patient has insurance, the provider will bill the patient’s insurance for the cost of the booster shot.
vaccination card, or if you were vaccinated through Norton Healthcare, sign into your free MyNortonChart account to view your vaccination history.
If you have just had COVID-19, it’s reasonable to wait three months after recovery to get the next shot for which you are eligible. You should take extra precautions, like wearing a mask, in times of high spread.
The new bivalent booster improves protection against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants. If it has been at least two months since your last monovalent (original) booster, a bivalent booster is recommended.
In short, YES. We now know that individuals can become reinfected multiple times with different COVID-19 variants. Based on current data, the vaccines convey additional protection, improving and adding to the immunity created from fighting off the disease. Those who were more severely affected by the disease may have developed more antibodies than those who had mild or no symptoms.
A study of patients in Kentucky showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than twice as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.
According to the CDC, those treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies still can be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine. There is no minimum waiting period after receiving monoclonal antibodies, but those who are sick with COVID-19 should not get the vaccine until they have recovered and met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. Those with COVID-19 but without symptoms also should wait until after their isolation period to get vaccinated. If you have just had COVID-19, it’s reasonable to wait three months after recovery to get the next shot for which you are eligible. You should take extra precautions, like wearing a mask, in times of high spread.
COVID-19 bivalent boosters are available at Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens clinics, Norton Community Medical Associates primary care offices and Norton Children’s Medical Group pediatrician offices.
Some locations will have both Moderna and Pfizer booster vaccines; others will have only Pfizer. For most people, it is OK receive either brand of the new booster regardless of which brand of vaccine you previously received. Children under 6 years of age may need to receive a specific vaccine. Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s online scheduler can help support you in scheduling the appropriate appointment for booster vaccinations. Please consult with the CDC’s recommendations, your healthcare provider or your child’s pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about what vaccination is appropriate for you.
Scientists and public health experts are continuing to monitor the protection provided by the booster and will make recommendations if another shot is needed on the future.
The new bivalent vaccines have been shown to have side effects very similar to the original COVID-19 vaccines. Minor side effects in adult and children who have received the vaccine include: pain at the injection site, low-grade fever, headache, fatigue and nausea.
Serious side effects are rare after any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. It has been determined by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC that the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is much higher than the risk of side effects from the vaccine. Worldwide, billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given, and there is no sign of any long-term side effects.
Yes, the FDA approved the bivalent vaccine for children 6 months and older. According to the CDC, most children are eligible to receive the vaccine after completing the recommended monovalent (original) vaccine for their age group. This now includes children 6 months to 4 years of age who have received 2 doses of the original Moderna vaccine and children 6 month to 4 years of age who have received the first 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The exception is children 6 months to 4 years of age who have already received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine. They are not currently eligible for a bivalent vaccine.
There are no changes to vaccine products or schedules for patients ages 6 months to 5 years at this time, and the time frame for this age group is not currently known.
Yes. It is OK receive either brand of the new bivalent booster, regardless of which vaccine you previously received, as long as it is an age-appropriate product.
Approximately 400 to 500 Americans are still dying every day from COVID-19, and people are still being hospitalized. COVID-19 vaccines protect against the most serious consequences of COVID-19 infection, including long COVID-19, hospitalization and death. In children, the COVID-19 vaccine reduces the chances of developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a potentially life-threatening illness that occurs in a small number of children after COVID-19 infection. The bivalent booster improves the ability of the immune system to fight the COVID-19 variants that are currently circulating.
It is best to receive a flu shot before the end of October. That increases that chances of developing immunity before flu starts to circulate widely. However, people not vaccinated by the end of October should still receive flu vaccine. The COVID-19 booster and the flu shot can be given on the same day.
Yes. The bivalent booster is recommended for people who are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant or who are breastfeeding.
To ensure to ensure broad immunization against the original strain, everyone eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19 must have the original two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna before they can get a booster.
The vaccine is recommended for all individuals ages 6 months and older. Children 11 and under receive a smaller dose.
Children ages 6 months to 11 years are not eligible for the bivalent vaccine booster.
Children of this age who have had their original two-dose series with the Pfizer vaccine are, however, eligible to get a booster with the original Pfizer vaccine. Booster shots are not authorized for children who received the Moderna two-dose series.
Some of the “breakthrough” cases are people who don’t have symptoms but test positive. Others have mild upper respiratory tract symptoms and test positive for COVID-19. A vaccine may not prevent you from being infected, but it helps your body fight the infection and can prevent severe disease, hospitalization, long-term symptoms and even death.
The omicron variant has mutations that allow it to evade human immune responses. It replicates quickly in the upper respiratory tract and is extremely contagious — almost as contagious as measles, one of the most contagious diseases known to science. Fortunately, though, the omicron variant generally causes less severe disease, especially in those who have been vaccinated.
The vaccine has been shown safe and effective in clinical trials and in the hundreds of millions who have been vaccinated so far. Serious side effects are rare after any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. It has been determined by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC that the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is much higher than the risk of side effects from the vaccine. Worldwide, billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given, and there is no sign of any long-term side effects.
Minor side effects in children are similar to what have been seen in the millions of people over age 12 who have received the vaccine: pain at the injection site, low-grade fever, headache, fatigue and nausea.
Yes. It is recommended that the vaccines be given in different arms or legs.
While the vaccine is incredibly effective, even against variants like delta and omicron, there likely will be “breakthrough” cases of individuals getting COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. Even in those cases, most are protected from getting a severe case of COVID-19. We recommend everyone who is eligible receive the bivalent booster. See more information above.
The vaccine has been shown safe and effective in clinical trials and in the hundreds of millions who have been vaccinated so far. Serious side effects that can cause long-term health issues are extremely rare after any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. What we do know is that COVID-19 kills people. It can damage just about any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs and brain. It can be spread easily from someone with no symptoms or with just a mild case to someone who can develop a severe, life-threatening case. The vaccines not only prevent disease in many cases, they also lessen the severity of disease in those who get sick despite being vaccinated.
Nearly 13.5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The remarkable toll of COVID-19 among children in the U.S. includes nearly 30,000 hospitalizations and over 1,200 deaths, some of which were due to multisystem inflammatory syndrome that can follow recovery from acute COVID-19. Unvaccinated children under age 5 have a tenfold risk of dying from COVID-19 compared with people vaccinated with at least the primary series. COVID-19 is currently the most common infectious cause of death in children.
Your child should receive a dose from a vial with a different color cap that indicates the formulation specifically studied and authorized for their age group.
Ages 5 to 17 have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and serious side effects have been rare. A very small number of older adolescents — mostly males, and somewhere around 1 in 15,000 — experienced myocarditis (heart inflammation) after receiving the vaccine, but these issues have been mild, and almost all recover very quickly. Myocarditis has not been associated with vaccination of young children. Vaccination is still the best way to protect children from COVID-19 complications.
Children should receive the age-appropriate vaccine formulation and follow the schedule based on their age on the day of vaccination, regardless of their size or weight. If a person moves from a younger age group to an older age group during the primary series or between the primary series and receipt of the booster dose(s), they should receive the vaccine dosage for the older age group for all subsequent doses.
Some tips for anyone getting a shot:
Immunocompromised kids potentially are at risk for getting more severe COVID-19 and long-term complications from the coronavirus itself, and they should be vaccinated. An extra dose is usually recommended per CDC guidelines.
The vaccine is available at various Norton Healthcare locations throughout the Louisville area. Appointments can be scheduled at NortonChildrens.com/COVID-19 or NortonHealthcare.com/COVID-19. You will have the option to select the location that works best for you. You also may call your provider or your child’s provider’s office to make an appointment for the vaccine.
The vaccine is free, but if you have an insurance card, please bring it. In addition, the patient should wear a loose-fitting top that allows easy access to the upper arm. No proof of age is required. Plan to stay 15 to 30 minutes after you or your child receives the vaccine. If the appointment is for a booster, please bring your (or your child’s) COVID-19 vaccination card.
You can confirm the date, time and location of your appointment by signing in to you or your child’s free MyNortonChart account. You’ll need proxy access to see your child’s information. If you don’t already have proxy access, sign up here.
If you do not receive a confirmation email or text message, your child’s appointment may not have been scheduled successfully. Please try again, and make sure that you click “Schedule It” at the end of the scheduling process. You also can contact our vaccine scheduling team at (502) 861-4499.
You may access your or your child’s records of vaccination through MyNortonChart.
Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.