CDC signs off on new COVID-19 boosters ahead of fall booster campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on newly-updated COVID-19 booster shots Thursday night, giving the final clearance shots to be administered soon after.

The new booster shots have been updated to target two different COVID strains in one shot -- the current omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, which make up 99% of new cases in the U.S., and the original strain of COVID-19.

This is the first time current COVID-19 vaccines have had a major upgrade. In the future, experts expect the vaccines could be updated periodically to match current strains -- akin to the way the flu shot is slightly different each year.

Walensky urged eligible Americans to get the shot.

"The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants," she said in a statement.

Public health officials directed the vaccine companies to create a bivalent vaccine -- a vaccine that targets two different strains -- in the hopes that the compilation will provide broader protection against COVID this fall and winter, as infections could rise with flu season, the cold weather and more time indoors.

The Pfizer bivalent booster will be available to everyone over 12, while the Moderna bivalent booster will be available to everyone over 18.

Earlier Thursday, the panel of CDC advisors publicly reviewed the data before taking the vote. Thirteen members approved the measure while one voted no and there was some debate ahead of the vote over the lack of available data.

Read more.

Topics: Vaccine, Guidance

Written by Argentum

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