COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Bivalent Moderna vaccine available in Sudbury and Manitoulin districts
September 12, 2022
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To: Local Health System Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
This Advisory Alert announces the guidance and local availability of the newly approved Moderna Spikevax bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. Highlighted below is information on the vaccine, eligibility criteria and rollout of this product, how primary care providers can be involved, and how individuals can access the bivalent vaccine.
This new 50 mcg mRNA vaccine contains 25 mcg of the ancestral COVID-19 strain and 25 mcg of the Omicrons BA.1 strain. It offers protection against COVID-19 infection, including infections caused by the Omicron variant.
As of September 12, 2022, high-risk groups are recommended to receive the bivalent vaccine. As of September 26, 2022, all individuals aged 18 years and older are eligible to receive a fall COVID-19 bivalent (Moderna) booster dose.
Per the Government of Ontario announcement, all Ontarians aged 18 and older who have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series, and regardless of how many booster doses they have received, will be eligible to receive the bivalent vaccine as a booster dose. Individuals are encouraged to consider a bivalent booster dose to help build ongoing protection against COVID-19 infection and serious illness.
The recommended interval between receiving this new bivalent booster dose and a previous COVID-19 vaccine dose is 6 months. With informed consent, individuals can choose to get their booster dose after a minimum 3 month interval. For those who have had a COVID-19 infection, the recommended interval is 6 months following the infection, but can be shortened to a minimum of 3 months. When considering vaccine intervals, biological and social risk factors for exposure and severe disease should be considered. Before vaccination, individuals should no longer be considered infectious and symptoms of acute illness should no longer be considered infectious.
Regardless of the number of booster doses received to date, it is strongly recommended that all older adults and people with underlying illnesses get a bivalent booster as soon as they are eligible.
Please note the removal of the preferential recommendation for individuals aged 18 to 29 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine as a booster dose. All individuals aged 18 and older are now recommended to receive an mRNA vaccine booster. This is based on the most recent post-marketing surveillance data that has demonstrated no increased risk of myocarditis with the booster dose.
Bivalent booster doses and other COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as the influenza (flu) vaccine or at any interval before or after other vaccines for individuals 5 years of age and older.
Bivalent vaccine rollout
As initial supplies of this new bivalent vaccine will be limited, the first doses and appointments will be offered starting September 12, 2022 to individuals at higher risk of severe illness and outcomes from COVID-19 in the following groups:
- residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, and Elder Care Lodges, as well as individuals in other congregate settings
- First Nation, Inuit, and Métis adults 18 and older, and their household members who are 18 and older
- individuals aged 70 and older
- individuals who are pregnant
- health care providers
- immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and older
*Note: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that the authorized dose of a bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can be offered off-label to this group due to high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19
All other adults aged 18 to 69 will be eligible to receive the bivalent vaccine product two weeks later, beginning September 26, 2022. These individuals can book an appointment or walk-in to a clinic occurring September 26, 2022, or later.
Primary care involvement
Primary care has multiple roles to play in the vaccine program, including onboarding practices to administer the vaccine in their offices, supporting vaccination clinics, and ongoing patient education on vaccine safety and efficacy.
Following the announcement of the bivalent vaccine, primary care providers are strongly encouraged to notify their clients of this new booster. Those at highest risk if infected with COVID-19 should be prioritized, including individuals who are immunocompromised and individuals 70 years of age and older.
Primary care providers interested in offering the COVID-19 vaccine through their practice are asked to contact Public Health at PCC_Vaccine_Questions@phsd.ca. To request additional COVID-19 vaccines, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clients who are unable to attend their primary care office for their COVID-19 vaccine can attend a Public Health-led community clinic, visit a participating pharmacy, or contact a health centre.
Local vaccination opportunities
Visit our vaccination clinics for COVID-19 webpage for information on clinic dates, times, and locations. Eligible clients are encouraged to book an appointment online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or by calling 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. A limited number of walk-in opportunities for the Moderna Spikevax bivalent COVID-19 vaccine will be available at Public Health clinics beginning September 12, 2022.
Original Signed By
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.
This item was last modified on September 13, 2022