Updated COVID-19 Booster Doses to be Available in Rhode Island

Bivalent boosters to target two strains of COVID-19


With a new, more comprehensive COVID-19 booster dose now authorized and recommended by federal health officials, these updated booster shots will start to become available in Rhode Island this week and next.


“This is a good reminder that one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to stay up to date on vaccination,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The Rhode Island Department of Health continues to monitor vaccine availability closely and will ensure that this new, more comprehensive booster dose is available for Rhode Islanders as soon as possible.”


The more comprehensive booster doses are bivalent vaccine, meaning that they target two strains of COVID-19. The bivalent COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer and Moderna target the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron variant, which is the strain causing most current cases.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that everyone age 12 or older who has received a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine get a bivalent booster at least two months after their last dose. (This bivalent booster dose is not available to children younger than 12.) This recommendation applies no matter how many boosters a person has already received. For example, if a person received their primary series and two booster doses, they should still get a bivalent booster at least two months after their last booster dose.


Rhode Island is working to ensure that bivalent booster doses are available to residents in long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities, as residents of these facilities are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.


Some Rhode Island primary care providers have begun ordering bivalent COVID-19 booster doses. After receiving vaccine, primary care providers work with patients to schedule appointments. People should contact their primary care providers to learn about bivalent vaccine availability. Separately, some independent pharmacies and retail pharmacies (such as CVS and Walgreens) are beginning to schedule appointments for bivalent COVID-19 boosters for this week. Vaccines.Gov is an additional tool people can use to learn about the availability of bivalent COVID-19 booster doses.


The Pfizer bivalent booster is recommended for people age 12 or older and the Moderna bivalent booster is recommended for people age 18 or older. The bivalent boosters will replace existing Pfizer and Moderna monovalent boosters. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC have repealed their authorization and recommendation for the current Pfizer and Moderna monovalent boosters. This means that anyone age 12 or older who would like a COVID-19 booster will get a bivalent booster.


For more information about COVID-19, see covid.ri.gov.



South Carolina Senator Tim Scott says thousands are without power across the state as Ian makes landfall. Now a post-tropical cyclone, Ian landed as a hurricane in South Carolina earlier today and is moving up the East Coast. Scott says around 200-thousand people are without power, and that now is not the time to ease up worries.        The White House says the federal response to Hurricane Ian is not about politics. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre [[ kar-EENE jhan-pea-AIR ]] declined to offer an opinion about whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is doing a good job in his storm-ravaged state. Jean-Pierre noted DeSantis and President Biden have had several productive phone conversations.        Former President Trump is scheduled to be deposed next month in a defamation lawsuit. A woman named E. Jean Carroll has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, and says she plans to file a separate civil suit against Trump on top of the defamation suit. The former President has denied Carroll's allegation that he assaulted her.       The CDC says it has "moderate" confidence the rate of monkeypox cases in the U.S. will either decline or plateau within the next two weeks. In its latest report on the outbreak, the CDC said cases could either decline or plateau, or begin rising "slowly" or "rapidly" with exponential growth.        A high-profile trial stemming from last year's Capitol riot is expected to begin soon. Yahoo News reports jury selection has ended in the trial of Stewart Rhodes, who is charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the attack. Rhodes is the leader of the Oath Keepers militia group who authorities say helped plan the riot and called for civil war. He's one of five defendants in the trial that'll start next week.       Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett says his recent car crash was a serious wake up call. The defensive end was going 20 miles over the speed limit when he crashed his car on Monday. Thankfully, both he and his passenger escaped relatively unscathed, with Garrett suffering a minor shoulder and bicep sprain.