New COVID boosters that protect against omicron subvariants available in Alpine

ALPINE — This week, a new round of COVID booster shots that strengthen immunity against the now-dominant omicron subvariants of the virus will be available at Alpine pharmacies.

The bivalent formula has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a single-shot booster to be administered at least two months following a patient’s most recent vaccine dose. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for individuals 18 and older; the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for those 12 and older.

The Moderna shot will be available at Highland Drug in Alpine on Thursday, September 8, during the pharmacy’s regular hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Pfizer shot will be available the next day, on Friday, during the same hours. Appointments are not necessary — the pharmacy will take walk-ins. Highland Drug is located at 504 E. Avenue East.

At Prescription Shop, located at 909 E. Holland Avenue, the Moderna shot will be available on Friday during the shop’s regular hours, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone hoping to get a shot is advised to make an appointment in advance — they are limited in number, per head pharmacist Meredith Schoch, and may go fast. The pharmacy had ordered 300 shots; as of Tuesday, there were around 250 remaining, and folks were booking appointments.

“I’m going to try to keep giving them every Friday, but it’s going to depend on the availability,” said Schoch. She noted that she’d ordered more vaccines, but it was unclear how soon they would arrive. Three hundred doses was the maximum amount available for pre-order.

The new boosters are not yet available at the Marfa Country Clinic, said Dr. Christie Alexander. A representative for Preventive Care Health Services could not immediately be reached. The Big Bend Sentinel will update this post if more information becomes available.