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New COVID-19 booster now available in Indianapolis

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a health worker administers a dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic in Reading, Pa. Pfizer, Thursday, April 14, 2022, wants to expand its COVID-19 booster shots to healthy 5- to 11-year-olds. U.S. health authorities already urge everyone 12 and older to get one booster dose for the best protection. And those 50 and older have the option of a second booster. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is available now in Indianapolis, the Indiana Department of Health said in a statement Tuesday.

The bivalent booster protects people from the two most common strains of the virus, Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.

The booster is available at 69 locations in the city.

Appointments are not available for booking online yet, but people can contact a providing pharmacy of healthcare provider to make an appointment. Online scheduling will be available later this month.

“The Omicron variant has been the main cause of COVID-19 infections for months, so having a vaccine that specifically targets this variant as well as the Delta variant will help keep Hoosiers healthier as we enter the fall and winter, when respiratory illnesses often increase,” State Health Commissioner Kris Box said. “I encourage individuals who are eligible to consider getting the new COVID-19 booster when they schedule their annual flu shot and make protecting themselves against COVID-19 part of their annual healthcare strategy.”

The state’s vaccine map also shows locations outside of Indianapolis where the booster will be available.