New and improved COVID boosters arriving in Twin Cities

COVID-19 case numbers in the Twin Cities are once again on the rise. The most recent metro wastewater data released last Friday shows a 36% increase in virus detection over the prior week.

It comes as batches of the new bivalent boosters are arriving at hospitals, clinics and pharmacies around the metro.

Health experts say the bivalent booster is new and improved because it offers protection from the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, which are the source of most infections right now.

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Dr. David Hilden with Hennepin Healthcare and host of the “Healthy Matters” podcast says he is recommending the shot to most patients over the age of 12 if it’s been two months since completing the original vaccination series.

“I would strongly recommend the new bivalent booster. This is the first new one since late 2020 and all the other boosters target the original COVID, which has mutated so many times since then,” Dr. Hilden said.

Dr. Hilden also says it’s safe to get a flu shot and the booster at the same time and suggests waiting two to three months to get the booster if you have had a recent case of COVID.

Most hospitals, clinics and pharmacies across the metro already have the bivalent booster or will get it by the end of the week. At Hennepin Healthcare, they are scheduling booster appointments for the public beginning Tuesday.