THE U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended on Thursday, Sept. 1 that eligible Americans receive an updated coronavirus booster shot that would help fight the omicron variant.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations to use updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.
The updated COVID-19 boosters add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition, helping to restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of updated COVID-19 boosters, and CDC’s recommendation for use, are critical next steps forward in our country’s vaccination program—a program that has helped provide increased protection against COVID-19 disease and death.
“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,” Walensky said in a statement.
She added, “If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”
On Aug. 31, the FDA signed off on the updated boosters, saying that the BA.4 and BA.5 strains of the omicron variant are currently causes most causes of COVID-19 in the U.S. and are predicted to circulate in the fall and winter.
“The COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, continue to save countless lives and prevent the most serious outcomes (hospitalization and death) of COVID-19,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf. “As we head into fall and begin to spend more time indoors, we strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to consider receiving a booster dose with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to provide better protection against currently circulating variants.”
Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.