This story has been up to date. 

Sept. 11, 2023 – The FDA immediately licensed the most recent COVID-19 vaccine, the primary to not goal the preliminary or “ancestral” pressure of the virus. 

Final yr, the FDA licensed a bivalent vaccine geared toward each the previous and the brand new. This time, it’s a “monovalent” or single-strain vaccine with one foremost goal: to attenuate well being dangers, hospitalizations, and deaths related to newer variants just like the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant. It is usually anticipated to offer some safety towards associated variants at present in circulation

The FDA authorization applies to vaccines made by each Pfizer and Moderna. 

Two steps stay earlier than you may get the booster at your physician’s workplace or native pharmacy, nonetheless. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is anticipated to vote on approving the brand new vaccine Tuesday. Then the brand new director of the CDC, Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, should log out. 

COVID instances, hospitalizations and deaths are rising throughout the U.S. once more. In keeping with the CDC, hospitalizations rose 15.7% within the week ending Aug. 26. Deaths rose 10.5% by means of Sept. 2. 

The FDA stated the brand new vaccine ought to be out there for anybody age 5 and older no matter earlier vaccination standing so long as it’s been greater than 2 months because you’ve acquired a COVID shot. 

Kids 6 months by means of age 4 who’ve acquired not less than one earlier COVID vaccine are eligible for one or two doses of the brand new vaccine. You’ll want to talk to your pediatrician to verify dosage. 

Kids in the identical age group who’ve by no means acquired a COVID vaccine are eligible for 3 doses of the brand new Pfizer vaccine or two doses of the brand new Moderna components. 

“The FDA is assured within the security and effectiveness of those up to date vaccines and the company’s benefit-risk evaluation demonstrates that the advantages of those vaccines for people 6 months of age and older outweigh their dangers,” the company stated in an announcement. 

The quantity of people that bought the earlier booster fell wanting expectations. In most locations all through the US, 20% or much less of the inhabitants acquired the up to date bivalent vaccine since its approval Sept. 1, 2022, for instance. Solely in seven states and the District of Columbia does the proportion go above 25%, in accordance with a CDC map

A serious unknown is how the price of the brand new boosters, now not freed from cost, may have an effect on their uptake. The producers estimate that with out medical insurance they’ll price $110 to $130 for every dose.

“COVID-19 stays a number one explanation for dying within the U.S. and poses a major menace to susceptible populations, significantly as we enter peak respiratory virus season. As the first circulating pressure continues to evolve, up to date vaccines might be essential to defending the inhabitants this season,” stated Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “We recognize the FDA’s well timed overview and encourage people who intend to get their flu shot to additionally get their up to date COVID-19 vaccine on the similar time.”

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