FDA Advisers Recommend Updated Boosters Targeting Forms of Omicron

Instead of keeping with COVID-19 vaccine boosters that target the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, an FDA advisory panel said this week that it favors reformulating the doses to also work against newer Omicron subtypes, reports the New York Times.

While new federal data indicate the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants account for more than one-half of new U.S. cases of coronavirus, the boosters currently under production by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna combine the existing vaccine and one that targets Omicron but not its subtypes. Whether targeting the new offshoots will pay off remains to be seen, considering the potential for the virus to change yet again before fall.

Who should get the additional protection also remains up in the air. "Right now the critical thing is the manufacturers need to know what to put in their vaccine," said Dr. Peter Marks, who runs the FDA's vaccines office. "Over the coming months, I think we'll get a sense, and there'll be plenty of time for debate over who is most appropriate for boosters."


Topics: Vaccine

Written by Argentum

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