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Kent, Ottawa health departments offering new COVID boosters

The updated bivalent version of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine boosters are formulated to protect against COVID-19 and the newer Omicron variants.

HOLLAND, Mich — Health departments in Kent and Ottawa counties have received doses of the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, which target both the original strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.

This new line of defense comes as doctors predict cases will increase as the weather gets colder.

Just last week, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health said it held its first bivalent vaccine clinic and had fairly high demand for it. They gave nearly 50 doses that day. 

On Friday, the department held a clinic at Grand Valley State University and gave 60 shots to students and faculty. 

The Kent County Health Department has also received its first order.

Given that this vaccine has only been approved for a short time, Ottawa County health officials are preparing for a significant demand for the new booster.

Allison Clark with the Ottawa County Health Department said the updated vaccines are crucial to boosting your immune system as new variants spread.

"COVID-19 booster doses have been providing good protection against COVID-19, but as our immunity wanes it's important to give our systems that boost that they need to continue to provide protections, particularly as Omicron has been evading that protection," said Clark. "And as new variants might evolve and show up, that gives us that little extra boost to protect us from serious illness."

Anyone who has already received their primary vaccines at least two months ago is eligible. Those 18 and older are eligible for the Moderna vaccine, and those 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer.

You can choose either Pfizer or Moderna regardless of which vaccine you got first.

The health department says getting this updated booster now will help protect you heading into the winter. 

There is another vaccine clinic with the new booster planned in Ottawa County for Thursday and many more across West Michigan. 

To make an appointment, click here.

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