Bivalent booster leads to big jump in COVID vaccinations in Pierce County

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced Thursday that the county has seen a big jump in the number of residents receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last two weeks.

The department said it has administered 15,300 doses in the last two weeks, with 1,200 of those being first doses. On average, 1,100 residents have received a dose each day.

The department says the jump in vaccination numbers is due in part to the availability of new bivalent COVID boosters, which started arriving in the state earlier this month.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the bivalent COVID vaccine includes “a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID-19 and a component of the omicron variant to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant.”

“These updated vaccines are now recommended to improve the duration and strength of protection against today’s COVID-19 variants,” Public Health – Seattle & King County Director Dr. Jeff Duchin said about the bivalent boosters. “There’s also reason to believe that they will provide broader protection against future strains that may evolve, but that is not known with certainty.”

Anyone aged 12 or older is eligible for the new booster if at least two months have passed since receiving their first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or their last booster shot.

According to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 68.6% of all Pierce County residents had completed their primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 26.2% were fully up to date as of Sept. 17.

In total, 1,692,600 doses have been administered to Pierce County residents. 628,100 residents have completed their primary series, and 239,800 are up to date.

Click here to find the vaccination location nearest you in Pierce County.