FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2022
Milwaukee Health Department Begins Administration of Updated COVID-19 Booster Vaccine to Target Omicron Subvariant
Bivalent Vaccination Available Beginning September 12
MILWAUKEE – Following authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Milwaukee Health Department is pleased to begin administration of the updated single-dose COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine on Monday, September 12, 2022 at the Menomonee Valley Drive-Thru Clinic (2401 W. St. Paul Ave.) and at the Northwest Health Center (7630 W. Mill Rd.) and Southside Health Center (1639 S. 23rd St.) beginning on Tuesday, September 13.
These updated boosters are the first COVID-19 vaccines made available to specifically 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 yourself from severe illness from COVID-19 continues to be vaccination,” said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. “For many of us, it has been months since our last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose, and those protections have waned. I strongly encourage everyone to seek out this updated booster dose to restore those protections. For those who have not yet received any COVID-19 vaccination, it’s never too late. Please get vaccinated today.”
The updated boosters are recommended for people 12 and older who have received their primary COVID-19 vaccine series and have not received a COVID-19 vaccine dose in the last two months. People 12 and older are eligible to receive the updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster, and those 18 and older are eligible to receive the updated Moderna COVID-19 booster. The Pfizer and Moderna updated boosters can be administered two months after any primary series – including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Novavax – or two months following any additional original booster dose.
In these age groups, these updated bivalent boosters replace the original boosters, which will no longer be offered for individuals 12 years and older. Children ages 5 to 11 continue to be eligible for the original COVID-19 booster, which provides protection against the original strain of COVID-19. It is anticipated that this age group will be eligible for updated boosters in the coming months.
The hours of operation for the immunization clinics are:
- Northwest Health Center & Southside Health Center
- Tuesday & Thursday: 2 – 6 p.m.
- Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Menomonee Valley Drive-Thru Clinic
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12 – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday & Thursday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Updated COVID-19 booster doses will be administered for free without an appointment for all eligible individuals over the age of 12. No proof of insurance is required to receive the vaccine. More information regarding the Milwaukee Health Department 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 influenza vaccine. Flu shots will be available at all MHD immunization clinics beginning Monday, and routine childhood immunizations are currently available at the Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Center immunization clinics.
In addition to the Milwaukee Health Department Clinics, many other pharmacies, healthcare 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.