Photo courtesy SFUSD

Photo courtesy SFUSD

Fraser Health offering ‘exciting’ bivalent booster vaccine against COVID-19

Doctor says ‘it should help your body to mount an immune response against a variety of strains of COVID-19’

Fraser Health Authority is encouraging people to get their booster shots against COVID-19.

“I would like to encourage everybody who’s eligible to get the COVID-19 booster dose this fall, as well as to get the influenza vaccine when it becomes available in a few weeks,” says Dr. Lindsay Bowthorpe, a medical health officer based out of Fraser Health Region’s Central City office in Whalley.

“Everyone over the age of six months is eligible for an influenza vaccine this fall and for the booster dose for COVID-19, it’s everyone over the age of five. The primary series for the COVID-19 vaccine is available for individuals who are six months of age and older.”

Asked if FHA is anticipating a spike of COVID-19 infections locally during this fall and winter flu season, Bowthorpe replied “that is something that we are monitory closely.”

People aged 18 and older can get the Moderna Omicron (bivalent) vaccine six months after their primary series or last booster dose and are being advised when they can book an appointment.

Health Canada approved the Moderna Spikevax Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, which targets the original COVID-19 virus from 2019 and Omicron BA.1 variant, on Sept. 1, 2022.

“The exciting thing I would say about the bivalent is it is offering protection against the traditional strain of COVID-19, Wuhan, but it also now has the spike protein for the Omicron strain so the benefit of that is it should help your body to mount an immune response against a variety of strains of COVID-19 to help protect you in the future,” Bowthorpe said.

Meantime, children aged 12 to 17 and five to 11 will receive the original shots. Flu vaccines will roll out beginning the week after Thanksgiving

Bowthorpe said it’s “safe and effective” to get your flu and COVID-19 shot on the same day, if you chose.

Fraser Health clinics are providing COVID-19 boosters in North Surrey, South Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, Burnaby and Coquitlam, with additional clinic days in Hope, Agassiz and Boston Bar

Additionally, some public health units are providing the COVID-19 primary series for children age six months to four years, and the pediatric booster for children age five to 11 years.

Check our fraserhealth.ca/vax for a list of clinics and public health units offering COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, and their operating hours.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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