COVID-19 Booster Shots Have Been Updated, Here’s What You Need to Know

Covid-19
Courtesy of Nenad Stojkovic (Flickr CC0)

A new bill has been signed by the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that allows for an updated booster shot to improve immunity against the original strain of the coronavirus and Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

Here is what you need to know about these new vaccines.

Cells can build defenses against two strains of the virus that causes COVID-19 with the aid of the new bivalent vaccines, which provide instructions for doing so. The injections instruct cells to produce antibodies that bind to specific regions of the spike proteins from the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the COVID-19 virus as well as the original strain of the disease-causing virus.

BA.4 and 5 are the most common COVID-19 strains in the United States and there is an average of 91,000 new cases every day.

Dr. Gregory Poland, who directs the vaccine research facility at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says they are packaged and manufactured as previous vaccines including the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines that most people have already gotten.

Covid-19
Courtesy of ZaldyImg (Flickr CC0)

The vaccines are not any different from the ones already established.

According to Dr. William Gruber, senior vice president of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, which manufactures one of the new vaccines, “the overall mRNA content—the business part of the vaccine—that leads to the immune response is the same amount.”

A 30-microgram dose of Pfizer’s booster contains 15 micrograms of mRNA against the ancestor strain and 15 micrograms against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. Twelve year old’s are allowed to use it.

A 50-microgram dose of Moderna’s bivalent booster contains 25 micrograms of mRNA created to combat the coronavirus’s original strain and 25 micrograms of mRNA created to combat its BA.4 and BA.5 variants. People who are at least 18 years old may use it.

There are currently millions of vaccines being transported to thousands of different places. These will include pharmacies, health departments, and health centers.

Big industries like CVS and Walgreens are already offering the shots. To schedule a vaccine appointment it must be done online. More slots will be opening up as vaccines keep rolling in.

The Biden administration anticipates a gradual increase in appointment availability during the first few days, followed by widespread availability in a few weeks. On Vaccines.gov, people will be able to locate locations.

As long as they have completed their initial series of vaccinations, Americans aged 12 and older are advised to receive the new boosters.
According to experts, everyone needs one because protection from immunizations and infections significantly decreases over time and across all age groups.
“I do believe there will be a benefit,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN on Friday. “I do believe there will be a benefit, basically for everyone, with clearly higher benefit for the elderly and those who have underlying illnesses.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna shots are available to adults over the age of 18. Teenagers 12 and older can receive the most recent Pfizer vaccination.

Experts say that the vaccine was due for an update. The coronavirus has been transporting a lot over time. These new vaccines were created to help stabilize the virus even more. Without more ways to help control COVID-19, this virus will keep us at the edge of all of our seats.
If you are wondering when exactly to get a vaccine booster you should wait at least two months after your last vaccination. These vaccinations are safe and effective and should be trusted.

Written by Esteban Ruiz
edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

CNN: Everything you need to know about the updated Covid-19 boosters
CBS: Pennsylvania Department of Health ready to begin administering updated COVID-19 boosters
NBC: Chicago-Area Walgreens Now Offering Appointments For New COVID Booster Shots

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Nenad Stojkovic Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of ZaldyImg Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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