The physicians of the Adult Down Syndrome Center recommend that individuals with Down syndrome ages 12 years and older who do not have a contraindication follow the recommendations of the CDC and get one updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent) booster.
How is the new booster different than the original (monovalent) booster?
The updated COVID-19 boosters include Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components that target variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading. More information can be found in the CDC’s Media Statement .
Should I get the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster? What about the Novavax vaccine?
The Pfizer bivalent booster is available for individuals ages 12 and older. The Moderna bivalent booster is available for those ages 18 and older. The CDC reports people 18 years and older may get the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent vaccine even if a different vaccine was given previously. Only the Pfizer bivalent vaccine is approved for individuals who are 12-17 years of age.
Novavax vaccine is only available as the primary two shot series for people 12 years of age and older and is not available as a booster at this time. It is a protein subunit vaccine (it contains pieces of the virus). For those who have received the Novavax initial two shot series, Pfizer bivalent vaccine is recommended as the booster at this time.
When should I get a bivalent booster?
For all of the COVID-19 vaccines, it is recommended to wait at least 2 months since your most recent COVID vaccine to receive the bivalent booster. There is not consensus on how long to wait to get a bivalent booster after having COVID infection. Recommendations range from waiting at least one month to waiting three to six months after having COVID infection.
It is estimated that it will take two weeks to get the highest level of antibodies (protection) after receiving the bivalent booster.
Like the original COVID vaccine (and many other vaccines), the bivalent booster may not prevent someone from getting COVID infection but will reduce the chance of getting severely ill.
More information can be found on the CDC website .
What about the influenza (flu) shot?
The flu shot and the COVID vaccine can be given together per the CDC .
It is recommended to get the flu shot in September if possible or at least by the end of October. However, it is still recommended as late as next spring if you miss getting it this fall.
We recommend both the influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines for our patients who do not have a contraindication.
The Adult Down Syndrome Center has the original Moderna vaccine available for those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. The ADSC will soon have both the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent vaccines. If you are a patient at the ADSC, please call our office (847-318-2303) to schedule an appointment.