Updated Covid-19 booster shots may be available in early fall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised vaccine makers in June to update the Covid-19 vaccine booster to add an Omicron BA.4/5 component to the current vaccine mix to create a bivalent booster.
Updated injections should be cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNN has reached out to Pfizer and Moderna for comment.
The Times reported that all adults should be eligible for a second updated booster, and children may also be eligible.
Currently, people age 5 and older are eligible for a first booster, but only people age 50 and older and some immunocompromised people are eligible for a second booster.
In late June, vaccine makers said updated boosters to target Omicron showed a stronger immune response than current vaccines.
Combined, the U.S. government’s two agreements with Moderna and Pfizer would make approximately 171 million booster doses of bivalent vaccine available to the United States for the fall and winter, if authorized and recommended.
But the Biden administration added in its Friday announcement that it won’t be enough for every U.S. resident. While the Moderna and Pfizer deals include options to purchase a total of 600 million doses — 300 million from each company — those options “can only be exercised with additional funding from Congress,” according to the announcement.
“We look forward to receiving these new, variant-specific vaccines and working with state and local health partners to make the vaccines freely available in communities across the country this fall,” said HHS Assistant Secretary Dawn O. ‘Connell, who leads the administration for strategy. Preparedness and Response, in HHS press release.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard and Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this report.