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Bivalent booster shots are available for Marylanders 5+

The COVID-19 booster shot strengthens our defenses against COVID, and the bivalent boosters (for age 5+) are also updated for added protection against omicron variants as well. With a booster shot, you can continue to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe. By protecting ourselves as much as possible, we can end COVID together.

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Booster shots

Marylanders 5+ are now eligible to receive a bivalent booster from either Pfizer-BioNTech (for age 5+) or Moderna (age 6+). The reformulated booster doses of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are “bivalent”.  This means that they contain “tools” (spike proteins of the virus) to target the original version of SARS-CoV-2 and its omicron variants. These bivalent boosters are only available as a booster dose, not as a primary vaccine series. Those who remain unvaccinated for COVID will need to first complete a primary vaccination series and then wait 2 months before receiving a bivalent booster dose. Novavax is authorized as a monovalent booster for Marylanders 18+ who have received any of the authorized primary vaccines. Novavax is not recommended for Marylanders who have already received one or more booster doses.

The following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Marylanders 5+ may receive a Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster dose if they have completed a primary vaccine series with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine or received the recommended booster at least two months ago.
  • Marylanders 6+ may receive a Moderna updated bivalent booster dose if they have completed a primary vaccine series with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine or received the recommended booster at least two months ago.
  • Marylanders 18+ may receive a Novavax monovalent booster dose if they have completed a primary vaccine series with any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine; however, Novavax is not recommended as a booster for anyone who has already received one or more booster doses of any COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Except for Novavax, which is not recommended as a booster dose for anyone who has already received one or more boosters, eligible Marylanders may choose which bivalent booster they want even if it is different from the primary series or booster dose(s) already received. Call 855-MDGOVAX or visit maryland.gov to schedule your booster appointment.

Any Marylander who presents to a provider that they are eligible for a booster dose is allowed to self-attest to eligibility. COVID-19 vaccine providers cannot turn away any individual who self-attests to eligibility for an additional dose or booster dose. Failure of an individual to “show proof” of eligibility may not be a reason that a provider does not administer an additional or booster dose.

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