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Omicron variant vaccine boosters now available in New York

Gov. Kathy Hochul
Don Pollard/

The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters, created to combat the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, are now available at certain medical providers throughout the state.

The bivalent booster's availability was announced Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul. In a statementWednesday, it explains certain providers have pre-ordered the boosters and are ready to administer them. Later in the week, the state Department of Health will release more information on how all other providers can give the boosters.

For citizens to receive the bivalent vaccine booster, they must have already completed their COVID-19 vaccination or been a recipient of a booster vaccine at least two months before.

"Getting vaccinated and boosted remains our best shot at protecting ourselves and fellow New Yorkers, and I encourage everyone eligible to sign up and get the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster," Hochul said in the statement.

Anyone 12 years old and up who is scheduled to receive the Monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine boosters must reschedule for when their provider can administer the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, according to the updated federal guidance. However, the Pfizer-BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccine booster is still recommended for children 5 to 11.

Parents wanting to schedule a vaccine appointment for a child between 5 to 11 years old shouldcontacttheir child's pediatrician, family physician, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies to see if the required vaccine is available.

As of Tuesday, Central New York has 16.21% COVID-19 cases per 100,000. Wednesday, Onondaga County reported 81 new COVID-19 cases.