The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) endorsed Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s updated Omicron-variant-specific COVID-19 boosters for adults and teenagers on Thursday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained the recommendation followed extensive scientific evaluation and aligned with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.
Pfizer’s bivalent booster received its EAU for individuals 12 and older. Moderna’s EAU was approved for people 18 and up. Booster eligibility happens at least two months after two doses of the primary COVID-19 vaccine series or last booster injections. The agencies plan to offer the updated booster for children under 12 soon.
In July, the FDA announced there would soon be a reformulated booster vaccination to combat Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. At the time, they anticipated the shots would be on the market by September.
President Biden’s administration also announced in July that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), agreed to purchase 66 million doses of Moderna’s bivalent booster in addition to the 105 million from Pfizer.
The new boosters could be available next week at local health departments, doctor’s offices, and full-service pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. During the same visit, people can receive the yearly Flu vaccine and the updated COVID-19 booster. Immunologists agree it is safe for most people to have both injections.
Health experts remind everyone to stay vigilant in the fight against COVID-19. It is not too late for unvaccinated individuals to start the first vaccine series and follow up with the recommended booster as prescribed.
COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and boosters are available to eligible individuals regardless of insurance or immigration status.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: CDC recommends Pfizer’s and Moderna’s new Covid boosters; by Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
KWTX 10 News: CDC endorses updated COVID boosters; shots to begin soon
WebMD: FDA Authorizes Updated COVID Boosters to Target Newest Variants; by Damian McNamara
CDC: CDC Recommends the First Updated COVID-19 Booster