FDA Authorizes Bivalent Vaccines, Students React 

By: Milena Mata | Contributor 


On August 31, 2022, the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna bivalent vaccines. They target both BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants of the virus.  

According to the CDC, the bivalent vaccines replace the need to get the previous boosters. The FDA recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for people ages 12 and older and the Moderna booster for those ages 18 and older. People must wait at least two months after their primary or booster vaccinations to receive the new bivalent booster. 

Some students are open-minded but nonchalant about new vaccines after two years of living in a pandemic. This is true for exercise science major Lauren Pounds who has received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“I got the first one and missed the second appointment and haven’t been able to get the second dose, but I’m open to getting vaccines and boosters,” said Pounds. “At this stage, I guess it’s more of a personal preference. In the beginning, it was more of a necessity.”

Freshman communication major Kristian Darden feels similarly. He has received all doses of the vaccine.

“I am open to getting boosters. I don’t feel like I need it, but if it’s free, I’ll get it,” said Darden. “There’s nothing wrong with more protection. I believe it is a personal preference. Somebody who had COVID multiple times [might] feel like they don’t need it.”

Elementary education major Fabeah Boateng is more inclined to receive the newly authorized booster. 

“I feel like you should do whatever you can to protect yourself and others,” said Boateng. “If you can protect yourself more, then why not?”

South does not provide the bivalent vaccines yet, but Tiffany Wade, the Quality Improvement Coordinator for South’s Student Health Center, says they should be available to students and faculty at least within the next few weeks.