LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization for the first updated COVID-19 boosters, and the Southern Nevada Health District expects to begin offering them as soon as next week.

The updated vaccines provide extra protection from the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Omicron is currently causing most cases of COVID-19 and is expected to circulate in the colder fall and winter months.

The Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine is authorized for people aged 12 and older and the Moderna bivalent booster vaccine is authorized for people aged 18 and older.

The new booster vaccines are authorized as a single dose administered after at least two months after the completion of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, or at least two months after receiving the most recent dose of an already available booster.

SNHD has already started receiving the vaccines and will announce when they are available in clinics. You can find updated COVID-19 information on SNHD’s website through this link.

“I am pleased that an additional layer of protection is going to be available to our community. Vaccines are still the best protection we have against COVID-19, and as the virus evolves, it will be important that the vaccines are updated to offer effective protection again disease and severe illness. I encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines as long as the virus continues to circulate,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, District Health Officer for SNHD.