What is a "bivalent" COVID-19 vaccine?

Question: 

What is a "bivalent" COVID-19 vaccine?

Answer: 
 
A “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccine targets two COVID-19 strains. On September 1, 2022, Health Canada approved the Moderna Spikevax Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine for use as a booster dose in individuals 18 years of age or older. This is the first bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.
 
This vaccine targets two COVID-19 strains; the original COVID-19 virus from 2019 and the Omicron BA.1 variant. It is only approved for use as a booster dose. It is safe and effective. 
 
This vaccine is anticipated to provide stronger and broader protection, including against the Omicron variants that have been circulating and continue to be the most common subvariants in BC.
 

“Bivalent” or combination vaccines are very common—the most common is the influenza vaccine which protects against 3 to 4 strains of influenza.
 

Date last reviewed: 
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022