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Norton, Baptist begin offering new COVID-19 boosters

Volunteers at LouVax are shown in this March 2021 photo.
Baptist Health and Norton Healthcare have begun offering the new bivalent COVID-19 boosters, which target the omicron variant.

Baptist Health and Norton Healthcare have begun offering the new bivalent COVID-19 booster, adding more opportunities for protection in the Louisville area. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the updated Pfizer and Moderna formulas several weeks ago. Some retail pharmacies and local health departments began offering the shots earlier this month, with rollout expanding as more doses become available.   

Norton Healthcare started scheduling patients for shots this week through NortonHealthcare.com. They’re also hosting vaccine clinics — which will include the new boosters as well as flu shots — Oct. 1 and 8 at the Norton Healthcare Vaccine Clinic, 1001 Breckenridge Lane, suite 113 in St. Matthews.  

Dr. Kris Bryant is an infectious disease specialist at Norton Children’s Hospital. During an interview following the booster approval, she said the original vaccines and boosters have helped offer protection against serious illness. The new formulas are expected to go even further in protecting against the most common subvariants of the omicron strain. 

“And this new bivalent booster provides the best protection against future COVID infections, because as you all know, even if you've been infected once with COVID, you can be infected again,” she said. 

From now through Oct. 7, Baptist Health is offering the shots at a clinic at 4000 Kresge Way in Louisville. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Baptist staff are not required to make appointments, but members of the public should register at ScheduleYourVaccine.com

The free boosters are recommended for people 12 and older, with Pfizer approved for this age group, and Moderna for those 18 and older. People 12 to 17 can get a different booster than their original vaccine series, but only if the booster is Pfizer. 

To get the new boosters, patients must complete their initial vaccine series and be at least two months out from their most recent shot.

Indiana continues its rollout as well, though the boosters are still not available at all locations. Patients are encouraged to check with their providers or pharmacies to see if the shots are offered, or check OurShot.In.gov availability.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.