August 31, 2022
The FDA today authorized the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for use as a booster dose.
The announcement means the bivalent boosters are just one step away from availability for the general public. During meetings this week, the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee will review the available data about the bivalent vaccines and determine if they should be available across the U.S.
Earlier this year, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted to include an Omicron component in the fall COVID-19 booster vaccines. Similar to the approach for the flu vaccines, the updated COVID-19 boosters are designed to offer protection against the strains that are expected to circulate this winter, said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD.
“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,” he said.
Here’s what you need to know:
About 48.5 percent of eligible Americans have had a booster dose, according to CDC data.
During a press briefing, FDA leaders said the monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized as booster doses for individuals 12 years of age and older, but will still be used for primary vaccination. Offering the bivalent booster dose is part of the nation’s strategy to avoid a potential wave of new cases later this year.
HAP continues to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. Learn more about the options available in your community.
Additional information about the FDA’s announcement is available online.
Tags: Public Health | COVID-19
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