Updated COVID booster for Omicron BA.5 variant scheduled for September

Some parents are hesitant to vaccinate their children under the age of 5 for COVID-19.


U.S. regulators said Friday they are not considering a second approval COVID-19 (new coronavirus infectious disease) This summer we will have a booster shot for all adults under the age of 50, and will instead focus on an improved vaccine for the fall that targets the latest virus subtypes.

Pfizer and Moderna expect to have the latest version of Shot available as early as September, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. is ready.

The announcement means the US will not pursue a summer booster round with current vaccines for adults under 50, as some Biden administration officials and outside experts have previously suggested. They claimed that another injection would prevent an increase in cases and hospitalizations due to the highly contagious Omicron strain.

Currently, all Americans age 5 and older are eligible for a booster shot five months after their first primary series. Her fourth dose (second booster) of a Pfizer or Moderna shot is recommended for Americans over the age of 50 and young people with serious health problems who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. increase.

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The FDA has urged eligible adults who have not received a boost to get an additional shot now.

The White House also stresses that taking a fourth dose will not affect anyone’s ability when shots targeting Omicron become available. subject.

Two variants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, are even more contagious than their predecessors, causing over 125,000 new infections and 6,300 hospitalizations per day. has reached These are the highest levels since February, but deaths remain low at around 360 per day, thanks to broad immunity and improved treatment against the virus.

Subvariants are derivatives of the strain responsible for nearly all of the viruses that have spread in the United States this year.

All COVID-19 vaccines offered in the United States so far have been based on the original version of the virus that began spreading across the country in early 2020.

In June, the FDA told vaccine makers that fall boosters should combine Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 with protection against the original coronavirus strain. We are accelerating production and data collection to prepare for

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The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must approve improved shots before they can be released.

The US has a deal to buy 105 million doses of Pfizer’s combination shot and 66 million doses of Moderna’s version when ready. However, it is not clear when it will be available in large quantities. The government contracts include options to purchase 300 million doses each, but reaching that total would require more funding from Congress, the Biden administration said.

As for timing, getting a booster too soon after your previous dose means you miss out on its full benefits.

The White House has sometimes been frustrated with the pace of decision-making at the FDA and CDC. Last summer, in particular, it took several weeks for regulators to decide whether to approve the first booster dose for adults in the United States. Privately, West Wing officials believe delays cost lives and prevent optimal protection amid Delta and Omicron surges, but cast doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters. , affected their intake.

In recent weeks, some of those complaints have swelled again as regulators considered whether to recommend a fourth dose for all adults, not just those at highest risk of the virus.The White House Some believe that the additional doses have helped somewhat with the rapidly spreading BA.5 subspecies, increasing confidence in those worried that their protection is waning.

Still, officials across the government acknowledge there is a risk of vaccine fatigue among Americans, including tens of millions who have yet to receive their first boosters. less than half of those who have been vaccinated have received the third dose.

Updated COVID booster for Omicron BA.5 variant scheduled for September

Source link Updated COVID booster for Omicron BA.5 variant scheduled for September

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