Second booster shot will be accessible to all Americans 12 and older shortly after Labor Day, According to early reports.
The Biden administration has been working hard to secure enough vaccine doses for deployment in September ever since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the addition of Omicron BA.4/BA.5 components for reformulated COVID-19 booster shots.
Millions of doses of this novel, variant-specific booster vaccine, known as a “bivalent,” have been obtained by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In particular, the government has 66 million doses of a bivalent booster from Moderna and 105 million doses of a bivalent booster from Pfizer.
Both businesses have as of this week submitted their updated booster candidates for emergency use authorization to the FDA. The bivalent booster from Pfizer is only for adults, while the one from Moderna is for children 12 and up.
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The Omicron family, which includes the spike protein for the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, as well as the original SARS-CoV-2 virus are all targets of the bivalent booster.
It’s unlikely that the FDA and CDC will broaden the group of individuals eligible for the current, regular booster given the impending availability of bivalent COVID-19 boosters. Currently, only a few people satisfy the requirements for a second booster:
- People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and are 12 years of age or older.
- Those who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in two doses.
- Adults 50 years of age and older.
Bivalent boosters might be eligible for more people
The CDC will have the final say on who qualifies for bivalent boosters, but they are likely to be widely accessible.
David J. Cennimo stated, “I think we will have a general recommendation for everyone to have the bivalent booster this fall”.
According to the most recent recommendations, these bivalent boosters—whether they are from the primary series or an earlier booster dose—may be advised at least five months after the previous vaccination dose.
According to Cennimo, “at my place of employment, we are already making plans to roll out this type of booster at the same time we are offering the yearly influenza vaccine.” “We think the CDC will allow us to give them jointly.”
Why Boosters Are Important
Since November 2021, booster shots have been accessible to all adults. This means that many Americans haven’t received enhanced COVID protection in nine months, with the exception of those who are 50 years or older or immunocompromised people who were able to get second boosters.
Expanding the eligibility for booster shots is crucial so that more people can improve their fading protection. According to some studies, three months after the shot, booster protection against Omicron starts to wane.
Family physician Mark Loafman, MD, MPH, is the head of the Family and Community Medicine Division at Cook County Health in Chicago told, “We must keep trying everything in our power to stop the spread of this virus because there are still about 130,000 new COVID-19 cases reported every day, and more than 400 people die from the virus every day”.
The goal will almost certainly be to get everyone boosted, he continued, but the process of introducing new interventions, like the bivalent vaccines, typically begins with a triage procedure to give the first available doses to those who will benefit most from them.
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Is It Okay To Delay Your Second Booster Shot?
The wider populace can anticipate that the bivalent vaccines will be made available in September.
The United States has a contract for approximately 170 million doses, and there are proposals for as many as 600 million, according to Loafman. By the end of the fall or the beginning of the winter, we should be able to administer a dose to everyone who wants one.
Some people who are eligible for a second booster shot may be debating whether to get it now or hold off until the upcoming bivalent booster. Despite the difficulty of the situation, experts agreed that if you are already eligible, it is preferable to receive the second booster now.
According to Loafman, the choice is based on an individual’s risk of developing a serious illness from COVID-19, exposure risks, and the timing of any travel.
Cennimo hopes that soon-to-be-released federal guidance will make it possible for anyone who has recently received an original booster to also receive a bivalent booster.
I do believe the bivalent booster will be better, so I hope the recommendation will allow us to shorten the five-month gap between doses.