Simplified: The latest booster shot to prevent against newer strains of COVID-19 is now available in Sioux Falls. Here's what you need to know and where to find it.
Why it matters
- This latest booster – sometimes called a bivalent booster – is aimed at protecting against both original COVID-19 strains and more recent omicron variants.
- Boosters are for anyone age 12 and older, and it can only be given after the initial COVID-19 vaccine. So if you haven't gotten anything yet, you'll have to do that first.
- The booster is also available in tandem with this year's flu shot, and doctors at both Sanford and Avera are encouraging people to consider getting both vaccines at the same appointment.
"We are approaching influenza season and other respiratory viruses," Dr. Susan Hoover, infectious disease specialist with Sanford said. "It's a good time to make sure you’re as protected as you can be."
Tell me more about what to expect
You are eligible for the booster if:
- You're 12 or older
- You've had your primary shot series
- It's been at least two months since your last COVID-19 booster shot.
If you've had COVID-19 recently, you can wait about three months before getting the booster, Avera Health Dr. David Basel said.
- That is, unless you're high risk, then it doesn't matter when you've had COVID-19, you can get the booster any time.
In terms of side effects, the new booster is very similar to previous vaccines and boosters.
- Extreme reactions are very rare, Hoover said, and that's true of both the flu shot and the booster.
- If you had some minor reactions to the primary doses or other boosters, you can anticipate those may happen again, Basel said.
Where can I find the bivalent booster?
It's available at Avera – just call your primary care doctor.
It's also available at Sanford, again, just call your doctor.
You can also call 877-701-0779 to schedule an appointment to get your booster shot. Just be sure to ask if you can get your flu shot at the same time.
"Any place that’s offering boosters will now be offering bivalent booster," Hoover said.