LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A reformulated vaccine booster that targets the omicron variant should start arriving in Los Angeles County next week, the county health director said Thursday.
Federal agencies this week authorized the modification to the booster which targets what has become the dominant variant worldwide in the past year.
The booster from Pfizer is authorized for use in people ages 12 and older, while the Moderna booster is for 18 and older.
Los Angeles County health director Barbara Ferrer said on Thursday that the county has preordered 170,000 doses of the new mRNA booster and expects to start receiving shipments Sept. 6-9.
She noted that when the FDA approved the reformulated booster, it also deauthorized the existing formula for anyone 12 and older. She said that means for now LA County will no longer be able to give boosters to adults, even with existing supplies still available, until the new formula arrives. The existing Pfizer booster will still be available for children ages 5-11.
She said there will be 958 locations - including mobile health clinics, public health sites and community pharmacies - that should be ready to start administering the booster by mid-September.
Information about how to find a site offering the new booster is available through the county website here.
The new U.S. boosters are "bivalent" shots, meaning they are formulated to protect against the original virus as well as the two newest omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, that are considered even more contagious.
"The priority as always is to ensure easy access to the bivalent booster for everyone who's eligible," Ferrer said.
Ferrer estimates some 7 million people in Los Angeles County will be eligible for the new booster - and probably half of them will want to get it - meaning there is likely to be a wait initially.