Skip to Content

CMH ready for flu and bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines

Citizens Memorial Hospital clinics and Stephens Pharmacy are now administering flu and updated bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older to receive the seasonal flu vaccine and for individuals who are eligible, to get their updated COVID-19 booster, also.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Moderna COVID-19 bivalent booster for patients ages 18 and older and the Pfizer BioNTech bivalent booster for patients ages 12 and older. A patient must complete the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines at least two months before being eligible to receive the bivalent booster vaccine.

The new bivalent booster replaces the former monovalent booster dose for patients ages 12 and older. There are no changes to the current COVID-19 vaccine schedule for children ages 6 months to 11 years.

“For most people, the best time to get their flu shot is in September and October, before flu season really takes off. Now that the updated COVID-19 booster is available, patients can receive both the flu vaccine and COVID booster at the same appointment,” says Mariah Hollabaugh, Pharm.D, system pharmacy director for CMH and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation. “Some patients may appreciate the idea of only experiencing vaccine side effects one time.”

Hollabaugh says that side effects of the flu vaccine and update COVID-19 booster are similar and are usually mild, going away on their own within a few days. “Some people experience no side effects from vaccines and others might have soreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea or muscle aches.”

The COVID-19 bivalent booster dose includes an mRNA component of the original strain and an mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages. The omicron variant is causing the most cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and the CDC predicts it will continue to circulate this fall and winter.

For more information about scheduling your seasonal flu vaccine and/or the Updated bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine, contact your primary care provider or call Stephens Pharmacy at 417-326-2416.

to Top