RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Starting today, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will offer bivalent COVID-19 boosters to anyone 12 years or older. “Bivalent” boosters combine many variants of COVID-19 to offer wider protection, including against the more recent Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

The FDA no longer approves the previous “monovalent” covid-19 boosters, which were only made to protect against the original variant of COVID-19. Therefore, anyone 12 years or older seeking a booster must receive the new bivalent booster formulation.

This change follows an FDA authorization and CDC recommendation from this week suggesting bivalent boosters over previous monovalent boosters, due to their expanded coverage.

Both Pfizer and Moderna offer bivalent boosters that the FDA has approved. Anyone 12 years old or older is eligible for the new Pfizer booster, and anyone 18 years old or older is eligible for the new Moderna booster.

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will also hold a free covid test kit and mask pick-up event Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the East Henrico Rec Center Pavilion on North Laburnum Avenue. No appointments are required, and it is open for all ages.

Pharmacies and primary care physicians may offer booster appointments in the coming days.

To read more about the new bivalent boosters, click BELOW: