Omicron-targeting COVID-19 vaccines now available in Miami-Dade County
Seniors! Get ready for another shot.

The county is also offering the new Novavax vaccine.

Miami-Dade County is now offering “updated doses” from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna designed to provide better protection against COVID-19 infections caused by the omicron variant.

Beginning Friday, eligible residents can visit any of 13 sites throughout the county to receive the new shots as either boosters or a first shot. The new shots are bivalent, meaning they contain two messenger RNA components of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: one of the original strain of the virus and another common between the two dominant lineages of the omicron variant.

Omicron accounts for nearly all new COVID-19 cases nationwide.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend people avoid mixing vaccines for their first two primary doses, the agency says it is OK to use a different product as a booster as long as it’s by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

The county is also offering the new Novavax vaccine, which, unlike previously available COVID-19 vaccines, more closely matches traditional vaccine manufacturing while still offering similar protections against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

The Food and Drug Administration amended its emergency use authorization Aug. 31 to instruct providers to stop using the monovalent booster shots Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna initially rolled out, which do not target omicron.

“In Miami-Dade, we continue to do our part to offer all the approved, available vaccines to our residents to protect themselves and others from spreading this virus and from becoming seriously ill if infected,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement. “We are continuing to follow the recommendations of our top medical experts and ensure that vaccines are widely accessible to the entire county.”

Vaccination sites in Miami-Dade County offer COVID-19 vaccine shots by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, as well as Jynneos’ vaccine for Monkeypox. Image via Miami-Dade County.

While Miami-Dade is by far the most vaccinated of any county in Florida, according to the Department of Health, it’s also the most populous and accounts for more cases — including new cases — statewide.

From Sept. 2-8, Miami-Dade recorded an 11.3% positivity rate — the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive for the virus — representing 5,471 new cases, more than double the number of new cases recorded the past week in Broward County, the second-most populous county in the state.

“We continue to see high positivity rates, so we remind the community that vaccines continue to be available to all those eligible at our sites located all over Miami-Dade County,” Nomi Health Florida President and General Manager Ron Goncalves said in a statement. “We invite the public to locate the most convenient site, along with their vaccine of choice to protect themselves and others from the risk of serious illness.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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