New Vaccines: Who should get which shot?

Sorting Through Growing List of Vaccine Choices
KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The BA-5 Omicron variant now accounts for 87% of today’s COVID cases.

The virus’ protein spike is what helps it infect the body, and that spike has changed a lot in the last two years. That’s why we have a new booster to combat it. But with those new options comes some confusion about which shots are best for which people. For some of us, we have to check the calendar or our vaccine record just to remember when we had our last shot.

We asked Pima County Health Department Vaccine Program Manager Crystal Rambaud to help us sort through the choices.

“We do know that it’s very complex. There’s a lot of participations and options and we do want everyone to get individualized counseling,” said Rambaud.

She said the first step is to make sure you’re doctor’s on board and you know your vaccine records - especially *when you got your last shot.

“It’s two months from when you got your last dose of the vaccine or your last booster for anyone twelve and over,” Rambaud said.

Before you get the new booster, you’ll want to wait two months after your second dose of the primary vaccine, your last booster, or a COVID infection. The same goes for children 12 and up.

“If you’re under 12, you’ll still be following the same recommendations - if you’re over 12 it’ll be the same rules that apply to adults. the only option for the 12 to 18 set is Pfizer and then Moderna becomes available 18 and over,” said Rambaud.

Adults can mix and match vaccine brands. You should only worry about sticking with Moderna or Pfizer if it’s your personal preference.

And don’t forget the *other new option for adults who are not yet vaccinated: Novavax.

“I think for people who want a technology platform that’s been around longer over a longer period of time that might be appealing,” Rambaud said.

Novavax is a more traditional two dose vaccine that does not use the new MRNA tech like Pfizer and Moderna do, but directly injects a version of the spike protein that cannot cause disease.

Despite occasional confusion and misinformation, Crystal says people are getting more comfortable with the Covid shots overall - and vaccinations are still ticking up.

This week, top infectious disease doctors announced they’re moving toward a single Covid dose annually, like the flu vaccine. It could happen as soon as next year.

“It’s been a long road but I think we see progress every day,” Rambaud said.