The current booster is "bivalent," fighting older and newer variants. Masking, testing, isolation, and quarantine also reduce your risk.
Fortify your body now against COVID-19 by getting new vaccine boosters designed to combat the most widespread, current variant.
The current booster, also sometimes referred as the "Omicron" or "bivalent" booster, is available to anyone at least 12 years old. It protects against serious illness and death – risks more severe for those over 60 and others with certain medical conditions.
The new booster comes at a time when many restrictions have already eased or are ending, such as state and local vaccine requirements for childcare, dental offices, and some other workplaces that expire on Sept. 17.
This transition away from health orders allows individuals, businesses, and other venues to take more responsibility in lowering risk and preventing outbreaks. Common strategies continue to increase safety: effective masking, staying up to date on vaccination, knowing how and when to test, isolation, and quarantine.
In Berkeley, residents have taken steps to protect themselves through vaccination: 95 percent of residents have completed their primary series, and 82 percent of the total population received a prior booster.
“Our community’s eagerness to stay up to date on vaccination and use all tools has protected us,” said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. “COVID-19 remains a threat, but this new booster and our familiar tools guide us through this next phase.”
Find boosters at healthcare providers, pharmacies, local clinics
If you haven’t already, get your primary series, such as the two doses each for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
If it’s been at least two months since you got your last dose of your primary series or a previous booster, you qualify for the Omicron booster.
Find a booster where it’s convenient for you:
Every Tuesday in September:
Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library, 1901 Russell St.
Clinic hours: 11:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m.
Registration and appointment link
Saturday, September 24
1460 Eighth St.
Clinic hours: 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Registration and appointment link
If you have had COVID-19, you can get a booster as soon as you have completed isolation, but you may consider delaying the booster by three months from when your symptoms started. Immunity from infection diminishes quickly, and there’s no guarantee that the strain you had is the same as what’s being targeted by the Omicron booster.
State vaccination requirements ease for certain workplaces
The state is removing testing requirements for certain workplaces. The City of Berkeley, as an independent health jurisdiction, aligns with the state on those decisions.
In Berkeley, this change means that proof of full vaccination and boosters are no longer required from all workers at the following facilities: childcare facilities, adult day programs, home health care services, pharmacies, and dental offices.
Since the winter Omicron surge in California, case rates for the state have decreased by 95%. The City of Berkeley’s case count has declined and seem to have plateaued to a 7-day average of 16 new cases per day as of September 15, 2022. Hospitalizations and deaths, which trail behind reports of cases, have remained low.
Up-to-date vaccination, masking, testing, and isolation still work
The basics of navigating COVID-19 remain the same. Staying up to date on vaccination – including the current Omicron, or bivalent, booster – is the most powerful tool to fight against severe illness and death.
This virus spreads through the air, and Omicron is particularly transmissible. A well-fitting surgical mask protects you. Even better, use an N95, KN95, or KF94.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, test. To best detect infection, a negative antigen test should be repeated at least 48 hours apart. PCR tests are more accurate and can be found in many places, including at testing sites.
If you are sick, stay home.
“We know that COVID-19 spreads easily and can cause severe illness and death,” said Dr. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. “I am grateful we are in a community that has used all the tools we have to get us this far. We need to continue using them to continue our progress forward.”
MyTurn (State of California vaccine finder)
Masks and Face Coverings (City of Berkeley)
Isolation & Quarantine (California Department of Public Health)
Local and State Restrictions (City of Berkeley)
COVID-19 Local Testing Resources (City of Berkeley)
COVID-19 testing (CDC)