Retailers begin offering bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines

The bivalent vaccines have been authorized for use as a single booster dose at least two months after primary or booster vaccination.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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On the heels of the Food and Drug Administration’s and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s authorization and guidance of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines, several retailers have begun to offer the vaccine. 

CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, H-E-B, Hy-Vee and Giant recently made announcements regarding the availability of the vaccine at each of their corresponding pharmacy locations. 

To kick things off, CVS Pharmacy shared that its locations are receiving the bivalent COVID-19 boosters on a rolling basis over the next few days and weeks. Appointments can be scheduled online and on the CVS Pharmacy app as doses are received. 

[Read more: Flu shots now available at CVS Pharmacy, MinuteClinic]

Since the initial supply is limited, patients interested in receiving updated boosters are encouraged to make an appointment using CVS’s digital scheduler, which offers the ability to schedule multiple patients at once, the company said. 

Walgreens also is offering updated COVID-19 Pfizer and Moderna boosters to eligible individuals. Individuals are encouraged to make appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, flu shots and other vaccinations online, on the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.

“Walgreens has played a vital role in responding to COVID-19 as millions have turned to us as a trusted and convenient vaccination destination,” said Anita Patel, vice president, pharmacy services development at Walgreens. “This season, we encourage everyone to stay protected by getting vaccinated with this more targeted updated COVID-19 booster in addition to receiving their flu shot or other routine immunizations in a single visit.”

H-E-B announced that appointments currently booked for COVID-19 boosters have been canceled. Customers with appointments for booster doses will be notified of the cancelation and will need to reschedule to receive the new, bivalent booster dose.

[Read more: Retailers begin providing flu shots

The retailer shared that all stores should have inventory by mid to late September, and interested individuals can locate inventory and make an appointment online. 

The bivalent vaccines, which offer better protection against COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant, have been authorized for use as a single booster dose at least two months after primary or booster vaccination.

Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 booster is authorized for use as a single booster dose in people aged 18 years old and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 booster is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals aged 12 years old and older. 

Hy-Vee announced that a limited supply of the updated COVID-19 boosters are now available at select Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations by appointment

If patients wish to also receive a flu vaccine at the time of receiving their COVID-19 booster, they can request it at the time of their COVID-19 booster appointment. Patients also can earn a 20-cent Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks reward when they get their flu shot with Hy-Vee.

A parent or legal guardian must consent to the vaccination and accompany all minors to their vaccination. The booster vaccines are free to all eligible patients, regardless of their insurance coverage, the retailer said.

It is recommended (but not required) that vaccine recipients bring the following to their appointment: insurance card (if they have insurance) and Medicare Part B red, white and blue card (if Medicare recipient); photo ID; and their COVID-19 vaccination record card. Masks are required. If individuals do not have insurance, they can still be vaccinated.

Hy-Vee Pharmacy patients also can take advantage of Hy-Vee’s FREE digital COVID-19 vaccination records.

Giant also announced that updated COVID-19 boosters are now available in all Giant and Martin's in-store pharmacies throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia to those who are eligible. 

Customers must bring photo ID and prescription insurance card. The updated booster will be administered at no out-of-pocket cost. Parental consent is required and parent/guardian must be on site.