MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Just last week, the CDC approved new COVID vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. The updated vaccines are designed specifically to target the most widely circulating Omicron sub variants.

The flu season also here, health care professionals are saying the boosters are safe to take with your flu shot this season. Dr. Kevin Michaels of the Mobile Health Department joins us on the Red Couch to talk about those shots and who needs to get them.

Read the full interview below or watch it in the video above.

Bill: Well, just last week, the CDC approved new COVID vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. The updated vaccines are designed specifically to target the most widely circulating Omicron sub variants.

Jessica: The flu season also here, health care professionals are saying the boosters are safe to take with your flu shot this season. Dr. Kevin Michaels of the Global Health Department joins us on the Red Couch to talk about those shots and who needs to get them.

Dr. Kevin Michaels, Mobile Health Department: Well, again, the flu we approach the flu season now. So everybody it’s highly encouraged. You get the flu shot and at the same time, you can also get the COVID vaccination.

Bill: This is a this is a new vaccine. Correct?

Dr. Kevin Michaels: Yes. If you have it, once you complete the primary series, the booster now will be the bivalent made by both Moderna and Pfizer.
And so that would occur two months after you’ve completed the series or have completed the last booster shot.

Jessica; Explain the bivalent what that means and how that is different from what we’ve seen before.

Dr. Kevin Michaels: All right. Well, the bivalent has both the micron and the and then the sub variant before and be followed by four and five available, whereas the messenger RNAs and the Novavax have just just a one virus in it.
So this is kind of double effect from that standpoint. So once you’ve completed the primary series, which is still the Pfizer return, the MONOVALENT or the Messenger RNA or the Johnson and Johnson or even the new one, the Novavax, once you complete the primary series, the boosters are now will be the bivalent vaccine.

Jessica: And that’s something that the Mobile County Health Department has ordered.

Dr. Kevin Michaels: Yes.

Jessica: Any idea when those come in?

Dr. Kevin Michaels: Probably in the next couple weeks. At the same time, the vaccine may be available at the local pharmacies or can be food stores. From that standpoint.

Bill: For most people, these are still free. Correct. And the government. So you can go into that the drug store or come to the health department to get that vaccine.
The sub-variants that that mentioned that this vaccine covers. Are we seeing those around here in this area?

Dr. Kevin Michaels: That’s predominately what we’re seeing across the United States. Can’t specifically say in Alabama what we’re seeing because it’s based on what what samples are sent in and tested. And so a lot of the a lot of providers are doing the rapid test.
And there is there isn’t the incentive to send it in to see what we’re seeing. Right.

Jessica: The health department has eight locations where these shots, both flu and coronavirus vaccines, are available.

Dr. Kevin Michaels: Yes.

Bill: Dr. Kevin Michaels from the Mobile Health Department, we appreciate your being here today and clear things up for us.

Stay ahead of the biggest stories, breaking news and weather in Mobile, Pensacola and across the Gulf Coast and Alabama. Download the WKRG News 5 news app and be sure to turn on push alerts.