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Original Moderna, Authorization for monovalent COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer

The Ohio Department of Health has revoked its authorization for the monovalent COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer, the same types of vaccines that many Americans received at the start of the pandemic. On April 18, Ohio’s health department informed Miami Valley districts that the monovalent COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer should no longer be administered in the US after the US Food and Drug Administration amended its emergency use authorization.

These monovalent COVID-19 vaccines were the most commonly administered vaccines at the start of the pandemic, manufactured using only one type of strain from the original coronavirus. However, following the development of viral mutations, Pfizer and Moderna updated their boosters to become bivalent. Bivalent vaccines use two strains of the virus instead of one. In the case of the updated Pfizer and Moderna boosters, they were created from the original coronavirus strain and the newer omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5.

According to a release by the Washington State Department of Health, the updated bivalent boosters have shown to provide broader protection against COVID-19 illness, including an increased period of protection from severe illness, hospitalizations, and/or death, as noted by a study from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Under the newly updated guidelines, the mono-valent Novavax and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines can still be administered. The Ohio Department of Health has provided the following guidelines for vaccinations with the bivalent Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines:

  • People who are 65 years of age and older and have previously been vaccinated with a bivalent vaccine may receive a second bivalent dose four months after their first bivalent vaccine.
  • People who started but did not finish their primary series may receive a bivalent vaccine two months after their last monovalent vaccine.
  • For those who want to start the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time, only one dose of the bivalent vaccine is required.
  • The bivalent Pfizer vaccines may only be administered to people who are six months and older.

For more information, you can visit the CDC site.

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