Have you heard the word bivalent lately? Maybe monovalent? These are the types of COVID vaccines offered from Pfizer and Moderna and refer to the strains of the variants they are designed to fight. The monovalent vaccine is the first vaccine developed to attack the original strain of COVID-19. The bivalent vaccine has two components to attack the original strain and also the BA4 and BA5 Omicron variants which are the most prevalent in our region now. This is similar to the way the flu vaccines are developed with a combination of the flu variants expected to be the most prevalent each year in our part of the world. Our Business Continuity work supports both flu and the COVID bivalent booster vaccine clinics and community wellbeing education in businesses, schools and community. The flu and bivalent COVID vaccine are available through the health department and many local pharmacies. If you are at least 2 months from your last monovalent (original series) COVID vaccine or at least 4 months from a confirmed positive case of COVID, you are eligible for the booster vaccines*. For more information about the COVID booster vaccine, you can visit the VDH website at: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/. Holly has supported clinics and provided information about the bivalent vaccine and community wellbeing at the Monday evening Blacksburg-Christiansburg Rotary Club and Floyd Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn this month. If you have questions or ideas for supporting community wellbeing or COVID mitigation in your workplace, school or community, please contact Holly Lesko at hlesko@nrvrc.org

*age restrictions apply for both the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent vaccines at this time and are expected to change as reviews continue. Contact your primary care physician or pharmacist if you have questions or concerns.