Updated COVID shots fight Omicron variants, original strain

Newly updated vaccines could better protect people against new strains of COVID-19.

The White House COVID-19 Task Force announced updated "bivalent" shots, designed to protect against the original strain and the Omicron versions BA.4 and BA.5, which are responsible for more than 99% of the COVID cases in Texas over the past month.

"We fully expect the updated vaccines to offer better protection against currently circulating strains than the original vaccines," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The hope is that the modified boosters will slow another surge this winter.

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Who is eligible for the updated shots?

The updated Pfizer booster is authorized for people 12 and older, the Moderna booster is for people 18 and older.

You can receive a dose at least 2 months after your last COVID-19 vaccination or at least 2 months after recovering from a COVID infection.

The FDA is working to update shots for children younger than 12.

Where can I get the updated vaccine?

The Texas Department of Health says doses of the updated boosters are already being shipped to clinics, health departments, hospitals and pharmacies.

Approximately 200,000 doses will also be available at large retail pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.

People can book appointments for the new shot as early as next week.

Can I get the COVID-19 booster and a flu shot at the same time?

Experts say you can.

"This is why God gave us 2 arms. One for the flu shot and one for the COVID shot," said White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha.