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LVHN Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Guidelines Ahead of New Shots, Will No Longer Offer Bivalent Booster | WDIY Local News

Spencer Davis

A major area health network has announced updates to its COVID-19 vaccine efforts.

Lehigh Valley Health Network said Tuesday that it will no longer give shots using the 2022 bivalent COVID-19 vaccines.

In a release Dr. Timothy Friel, Chair of the Department of Medicine at LVHN said the decision comes after the Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency use authorization for these bivalent booster shots on Sept. 11.

LVHN said revoking the EUA meant that no shots can be given using the bivalent vaccines, even for individuals that already had a scheduled appointment to receive one.

The FDA simultaneously gave EUA to two new monovalent vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

FDA officials said individuals aged 5 and older regardless of previous vaccination are eligible to receive a single dose of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.

Previously-vaccinated individuals aged 6 months to 4 years are eligible to receive one or two doses of the updated vaccine, with timing and numbers of doses dependent on the previous COVID-19 vaccine received.

Unvaccinated people 6 months to 4 years old are eligible to receive three doses of the updated authorized Pfizer vaccine, or two doses of the updated authorized Moderna Vaccine.

The new vaccines are more effective against circulating variants of COVID-19, including XBB.1.5.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all people aged 6 months and older receive the updated COVID-19 shots to protect against serious illness.

LVHN said it will announce how it will offer the new, more effective vaccines,

“We will begin offering the newer monovalent COVID vaccines as soon as they become available, hopefully within the next 1-2 weeks,” Friel said.

(Original air-date: 9/14/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director.