KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Food and Drug Administration have authorized updated versions of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 booster shots. Those will target the contagious BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
Health experts say the updated boosters could come at a perfect time, as we approach fall and cooler temperatures.
“You know, I think it comes at a good time because of the weather is changing. Like we talked about colder temperatures, people doing more things inside,” said Dr. Dana Hawkinson, the University of Kansas Health System Infectious Disease Physician/Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control.
According to the FDA, people who have received the two-dose initial COVID-19 vaccine plus, those that have gotten one or more boosters are eligible for the updated boosters.
“From the latest FDA press release, anybody who is two months out from their last dose their last booster dose, or finishing their primary series is able and eligible to get that vaccine. if you are 12 and above for Pfizer, and if you are 18 and above for Moderna,” Hawkinson said.
While the FDA has authorized the boosters, there’s another step before the boosters can be rolled out. The recommendation will go before a CDC Advisory Committee this week.
“What makes this booster different than the previous one is this is a so-called bivalent booster,” said Dr. Mark Steele, University Health Executive Chief Clinical Officer. “So, it’s essentially two vaccines rolled into one. One of the targets is the original COVID-19 virus that we saw from the beginning. And then the other target, of course the BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants of Omicron.”
FOX4 asked health experts if there could be new boosters in the future or a new COVID vaccine taken each year, like the flu shot.
“We don’t know how long these current subvariants are going to continue to be the dominance of variants, and if there’ll be future ones, but certainly, if there are, I suspect that there will be new boosters in the future,” Steele said.
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