The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention certified the first updated booster shots for COVID-19.
The decision came just hours after CDC advisers voted to recommend reformulated versions of the COVID-19 Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The vote was 13 in favour, and one vote was no.
“The updated COVID-19 boosters are designed to provide better protection against the latest circulating COVID-19 variant,” Walensky said in a written statement announcing the recommendation.
“If you qualify, there is no bad time to get a COVID-19 booster and I highly encourage you to receive it,” Walinsky said.
The booster shots target the original strain of the coronavirus and the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants that most people are picking up now. This double-barreled vaccine is called a bivalent vaccine.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisors have recommended that anyone age 12 or older get new Pfizer-BioNTech boosters, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is allowed for anyone 18 years of age or older.
In either case, people will have to wait two months after completing the initial vaccination or the last booster dose. But many vaccine experts say it would be best to wait at least four months since your last shot or infection with the COVID virus, otherwise the boosters won’t work as well.
This is the first time the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized COVID vaccines without the need to test them in humans. To keep up with the rapidly evolving virus, the Food and Drug Administration relied on how well the shots could stimulate the mice’s immune system. They also looked at how well similar shots targeting previous variants worked on people.
The companies and federal officials say there is no doubt that the shots are safe and they argue that evidence suggests that the reformulated boosters will help reduce the chances of people contracting and spreading the virus.
But some people are questioning whether it is better to wait for the results of human studies that are already underway.
“It certainly looks very promising,” he said. CDC advisor Dr. Pablo Sanchez from Ohio State University in Thursday’s hearing. “I understand the constant shifting of these variables, but studies with BA.4 and BA.5 are underway in humans and I’m just wondering if that’s a little premature,” he said. Sanchez was the only chancellor to vote “no”. “I voted no because I feel like we really need the human data,” he explained. “There is a lot of hesitation with vaccines already. We need human data.”
But other consultants were more satisfied, noting that flu vaccines are updated annually without being tested on people.
“This is the future we’re heading to,” he says. Dr. Jimmy Loehr Cayuga Family Medicine. “We’re going to have more variants and we have to treat this like the flu, where we can use new strain variants every year.” Lauer says he’s comfortable recommending the updated enhancers, “even if we don’t have human data.”
Chairman of the Committee , Dr. Grace Lee, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Stanford Medicine, realized there was some uncertainty, “I want to admit that,” she said. “And I just want to say that though, I think we hope to make a huge impact in our ability to tackle this pandemic together.”
Between 400 and 500 people still die each day in the United States from COVID-19 and public health officials fear the possibility of another increase in the fall or winter. The administration hopes the reformulated boosters will help contain the surge and protect people from serious illness or death.
The federal government plans to make the reinforcements available quickly. Before the FDA’s decision, Dr. Ashish Jhathe White House COVID-19 response coordinator told NPR that the new boosters represent a “really important moment in this pandemic.”
Now that the CDC has signed off, some footage could be available as early as Friday, with a broader rollout next week.
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