The CDC recommends a new coronavirus booster for all Americans


The CDC recommends a new coronavirus booster for all Americans

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director signed the recommendation that all Americans six months and older receive an updated coronavirus booster shot on Tuesday amid rising cases and hospitalizations nationwide.

This comes just one day after the US Food and Drug Administration approved and approved the new dose.

The boosters made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are formulated to target currently circulating variants, which are related to XBB - an offshoot of the omicron variant.

The advisory committee made the recommendation, which Director Dr. Mandy Cohen approved.

"Vaccination remains critical for public health and continued protection against the severe consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death," Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

The statement continued: "The public can be assured that these updated vaccines have met the agency's rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. We strongly encourage those who are eligible to consider vaccination."

The shots are expected to be available later this week as they are delivered to pharmacies and healthcare providers nationwide, with a large supply likely to begin next week.

President Biden said, following the approval of COVID-19 vaccines, "Today marks another important milestone" and encouraged Americans to stay current on vaccinations.

"Today's announcement also means we have vaccinations against all three major seasonal respiratory viruses — COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus. Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the most important protection in avoiding hospitalization, long-term health complications, and death," Biden said. : "Encourage all Americans to stay current on their vaccines."

The FDA says children ages five and older can get one updated booster dose at least two months after their last COVID-19 dose, regardless of previous vaccination.

Both updated boosters are approved for people ages 12 and older and cleared for emergency use in children ages six months to 11 years.

The agency says they are eligible for one or two booster doses for those ages six months to 4 years who have previously been vaccinated. For unvaccinated individuals in this age group, the FDA says they are eligible for three doses.

Recent data have indicated that the booster could provide additional protection against currently circulating variants and particularly against severe disease and death, especially for the elderly or those with compromised immunity.

In a laboratory study, published data from Moderna showed that its booster generated a nearly nine-fold increase in antibodies against the newer BA.2.86 subvariant.

Previous results from the vaccine manufacturer indicated that the new booster also provides additional protection against the EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 subvariants, which are currently dominating the United States and making up an estimated 36% of new cases, according to CDC data.

"As the initial circulating strain continues to evolve, updated vaccines will be crucial to protecting the population this season," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement. "We appreciate the FDA's timely review and encourage individuals who intend to get the flu vaccine also to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine simultaneously."

Likewise, Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, praised the FDA's decision and suggested that Americans might be able to receive the vaccine while they get their annual flu shot.

"We expect this season's vaccine to be available in the coming days, pending the recommendation of public health authorities, so that people can ask their doctor about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during the same appointment as their annual flu vaccine, saving time now and helping to prevent," he said in a statement. "Of severe illness later when respiratory viruses are at their peak."

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