FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2022
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
Nome, Alaska – Today, NSHC received the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent boosters to Nome. The boosters are expected to be available by early next week regionwide. This news is coming after U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently voted to expand the COVID-19 vaccination emergency use authorizations to now include Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA bivalent boosters.
A bivalent booster is made the same way as other mRNA COVID-19 vaccines but targets more than one strain of the virus. These boosters are effective against the more recent Omicron subvariants, as well as the original SARS-CoV-2 strain.
Anyone 12 years old and older who received their last COVID-19 vaccination at least two months ago can get a booster. If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended to wait two months after recovering from the illness. The booster can be given with a flu shot, and common side effects include headache, fatigue, and discomfort at the injection site.
Regionwide, 80% of the total population has received at least one dose of vaccine since the vaccination rollout in Dec. 2020. Since antibody protection decreases over time, getting a bivalent booster will help give your immune system a boost and protect against specific variants. In the U.S., nearly all the cases of severe illness, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.
NSHC strongly encourages everyone in the region, particularly anyone over the age of 50 or individuals with underlying medical conditions, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. In villages, residents may contact their local clinic to get on the wait list for a booster. In Nome, please schedule a “nurse-only” booster vaccine appointment by calling (907) 443-3333.
If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, you can call into NSHC’s Tribal Leader Call on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. by dialing 1-800-315-6338; access code 03286#, or email NSHC’s medical staff for answers at .