The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna booster shots for Coronavirus on Wednesday, targeting the dominant BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants as the administration prepares to launch a widespread fall vaccination campaign. Moreover, the latest jabs include the original version of the deadly virus. As another winter surge approaches, officials hope the modified boosters will help blunt it.
Despite the emergence of wildly different mutants over the years, Coronavirus vaccines have targeted the original COVID strain. In the U.S., booster shots are now a combination called bivalent shots. Half of the original vaccine recipe is present in these vaccinations, and the other half contains protection against the contagious Omicron variants, which have been labeled as the most infectious in history, BA.4 and BA.5.
Incoming—CDC vaccine advisers expected to vote Thursday on updated #BA5 variant boosters. New shots likely available within days. This is the booster I’m waiting for.
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) August 30, 2022
Which people are Eligible for New Shots?
The Combination intends to strengthen cross-protection against a broader range of variants. In an interview with a news agency, Pfizer vaccine chief Annaliesa Anderson said: “It offers the broadest protection.” Furthermore, in an update to prior recommendations, the FDA approved the shots for everyone 12 years and older who has completed their primary vaccination series and has had their last booster shot at least two months ago.
A booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines targeting the most common Omicron strain has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. By next week, Pfizer plans to deliver 15 million doses. The Moderna vaccine targets BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.#COVID19 #Omicron #FDA pic.twitter.com/bzqpipp5zq
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) September 1, 2022
In short, the Moderna single-dose vaccine is intended for adults 18 years and older; Pfizer’s bivalent candidate is for children 12 years and older. Additionally, United States government officials purchased 175 million doses of the booster from Pfizer and Moderna to combat the worst effects of a likely spike in new infections as school resumes and people remain indoors as the weather gets colder. According to Pfizer, 15 million doses of the drug could be delivered by September 9.
As part of a recent request from the FDA, vaccine makers have been instructed to tailor shots to the two subvariants responsible for the latest global outbreak of infections. Over eighty-eight percent of U.S. infections currently originate from the BA.5 subvariant. The updated boosters must only be administered to those who have already had their primary vaccines using the original vaccines and are not intended for those who have never been vaccinated.
In order to begin the next booster campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend which individuals should be given the additional vaccination. An influential CDC advisory panel will hold a hearing Thursday to discuss the evidence, including whether it’s best to start with individuals at high risk for Coronavirus.
A Look at The Different Vaccines Used by Other Countries
There have been 107 million Americans over the age of 12 who have received a COVID-19 booster dose at least once until now. Several scientists disagreed with the recommendation of allowing a booster shot just two months after a previous shot, arguing that longer gaps would result in better immune responses. Officials at the FDA reported that most Americans hadn’t received their most recent vaccine in more than two months.
In addition to Canada and the United Kingdom, other countries have also ordered updated Omicron booster shots for fall campaigns. However, others have purchased shots tailored to the BA.1 Omicron subvariant that caused the record Coronavirus surges the last winter. As part of its efforts to constrain the spread of the COVID responsible for the latest infection surge worldwide, the FDA asked vaccine makers to tailor doses to the BA.4/BA.5 subvariants.
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