April 24, 2023 4:00 PM
COVID-19 ALERT: FDA approves wider use of bivalent vaccine, JCPH awaiting prescribing guidance
Jefferson County, Colo. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the authorizations and recommended vaccine schedules on April 18, 2023. With this update, monovalent vaccines (the vaccines recommended as a primary series before the updated bivalent/omicron vaccine) are no longer able to be used. Instead, bivalent/omicron doses will be the only recommended vaccines available for use, pending approval and prescribing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The reason for this change is that the bivalent/omicron vaccine formulation is far more effective against the strains of COVID-19 that are now circulating. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) will be updating its guidance and clinical practices as soon as more information is released by CDC, ACIP and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
With this change from the FDA, no primary series Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are available at this time. Adults who have not previously been vaccinated can still receive a vaccine, but currently only the Novavax variation. In addition, any child ages 6 months and older who has not yet received or completed a primary series will not be able to get vaccinated until updated guidance is released. However, the bivalent/omicron booster is still available to all people who have not yet received one. JCPH is also awaiting finalized guidance from CDC, ACIP and CDPHE about additional omicron booster doses for those over 65, but at this time, cannot offer a second dose of the bivalent/omicron booster.
JCPH will continue to update its website and social media as more information becomes available. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines at JCPH, please visit www.jeffco.us/vaccine.