Authorization granted for monovalent Novavax COVID-19 vaccine boosters for adults, updated bivalent boosters are preferred


CONTACT: Wes Stubblefield, M.D., (256) 340-2113

The monovalent and protein-based Novavax COVID-19 vaccine booster is now authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for adults. This authorization is for a first booster dose to be given at least 6 months after completion of a primary vaccination series with an authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.

As respiratory viruses are circulating in many areas, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) encourages all eligible people to get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters as soon as they are available.

The following people are eligible for the Novavax booster:

  • Individuals 18 years or older for whom a Food and Drug Administration-authorized mRNA bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is not accessible or clinically appropriate, and
  • Individuals 18 years or older who elect to receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Novavax booster targets the original COVID-19 strain and is available for adults only if they have completed primary series vaccination but have not previously received a COVID-19 booster—and if they cannot or will not receive an updated mRNA bivalent booster. Novavax is a traditional protein-based vaccine that contains the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease and an adjuvant called Matrix-M to stimulate a response in the immune system.

Bivalent mRNA boosters produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna offer the best protection against additional Omicron COVID-19 variants and subvariants which are emerging. The updated boosters are called bivalent because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. CDC recommends a bivalent booster for people ages 5 and older if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was

  • Their final primary series dose or
  • An original (monovalent) booster

People who have gotten more than one original monovalent booster are also recommended to get an updated bivalent booster.

Children under age 5 years are not recommended to receive a booster at this time. Children ages 5 years old are currently recommended to receive only the updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech booster, and they can get this booster whether they received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series. Children ages 6 years and older can receive the updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech booster or Moderna booster, and they can get this booster whether they received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series. Children ages 5 years old can no longer get an original (monovalent) mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) booster.

Children and adults ages 6 years and older can get a different product for their updated (bivalent) booster than they received for their primary series or last booster. People ages 6 years and older can no longer get an original (monovalent) mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) booster.

CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older be up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. For those 5 years and older, individuals are up to date if they have completed a primary series and have received the most recent booster dose recommended by CDC. Vaccines are highly effective at protecting people from serious illness and remain the best way to protect from severe COVID-19 hospitalization and death.

Clinical research has demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of updated COVID-19 vaccines. As occurs for all vaccines—including COVID-19 vaccines—safety monitoring will continue. Annual influenza vaccine is also recommended for ages 6 months and older. Flu shots can be given at the same visit as COVID-19 vaccine.

Information about COVID-19 and influenza is available at Vaccine providers, clinics and their locations can be found at You may also text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233.



County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.