If the CDC committee has its way, all Americans 6 months and older will be eligible for an updated COVID booster vaccine tailored to the new Omicron strain.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13-1 on Tuesday to approve updated vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax for the vast majority of U.S. residents, although the Food and Drug Administration has not approved Novavax’s updated formulation. The agency on Monday approved such boosters from Moderna and Pfizer.
The CDC anticipates there will be enough supply so there will be no need to prioritize certain groups, such as the elderly or immunocompromised people, for first doses, officials said at Tuesday’s committee meeting.
The CDC must now accept or reject the committee’s recommendation. It is expected to accept them, and the boosters may be available to the public by the end of this week.
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said: “Everyone 6 months of age or older should receive the new, updated Moderna and Pfizer XBB strain COVID-19 vaccines.” wealth Tuesday.
“It is clear that the vaccine is safe and effective across all age groups. High-risk groups will particularly benefit from the vaccine. This is consistent with general advice that [committee made] today.
Updated vaccines tailored to target older strains
The new boosters are monovalent, meaning they only target one strain of the coronavirus. The Omicron Booster updated last year was tailored to Omicron and the original strain of the new coronavirus.
The updated vaccine is tailored against the XBB.1.5 “Kraken” strain, which dominated the U.S. and elsewhere from late last year to early this year and is now all but extinct. Ten days ago, the virus was estimated to be responsible for only 3.1% of U.S. infections, according to the latest variant data provided by the CDC.
Good news: The new booster is expected to provide protection against currently circulating strains, including the highly mutated “Pirola” BA.2.86 variant, which did not evolve from the XBB family. However, most circulating strains (including the “Eris” EG.5 currently dominating U.S. cases) did evolve from the XBB strain, meaning the updated vaccine should be a good match.
This is a developing story and will be updated.