The bivalent booster is the most recent version of the COVID-19 vaccine. It contains both the original vaccine strain [of the virus] and a strain derived from the BA.5 omicron variant, which is currently the most active in the United States, so that we can maximize protection against severe disease and potentially from infection.

Do the bivalent boosters work? Updated bivalent (two-strain) mRNA booster shots, have cut the risk of contracting severe COVID-19 by up to 57%, according to a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. A second study in the same journal shows the bivalent boosters are particularly effective at preventing hospitalizations in elderly Americans.

cindy gall headshotCindy Gall, Infection Preventionist, Quality and Safety Lead at Wishek Living Center in Wishek, ND, shared her personal experience with the bivalent booster and it’s effectiveness for their residents and staff. “We recently had an outbreak of COVID in our building. I had ten residents test positive the very first day. Within a few days, we had 15 residents and 8 staff with COVID all in a week.

She added, “BUT, 78% of them have NO symptoms. A few had loose stools 2 days prior to testing positive. As soon as they had the loose stools, we began testing them and they were negative two days in a row. On day 3, all symptoms were gone and that was the day they tested positive. Two of the residents developed mild cold symptoms on day 3, tested positive which triggered us to mass test.” She concluded, “the VACCINE WORKS! It kept all of these elderly people well enough to beat COVID, including our 105 year old who just recovered from influenza and now COVID.”

Access the CDC Site for up to date information on the Bivalent booster, including what is considered ‘up to date’ and recommendations for all ages.

Great Plains QIN developed this visual to help determine what ‘Up To Date’ looks like. 

covid-19 up to date photo