August 2, 2022

New COVID-19 booster shots to be offered in September

By: Lauren McCaffrey
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Editor's Note

The Biden administration will begin a COVID-19 booster campaign for revamped vaccines in September, the New York Times July 28 reports. This new booster is predicted to provide more extensive protection against the Omicron subvariants.

Federal officials made the decision that individuals over 50 and those over 12 years old with immune deficiencies are eligible for a second booster of the existing vaccine this summer. Last week, Food and Drug Administration officials debated whether to expand eligibility to others because of the BA.5 subvariant spike, but the decision was made to wait for the September boosters in an effort to prevent a winter surge.

On July 29, Moderna recently announced a new $1.74 supply contract with the US for 66 million doses of “bivalent” vaccine, with the option to purchase up to 234 million additional doses. The new booster contains the original COVID-19 strain and mRNA from both the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. Pfizer-BioNTech also announced a $3.2 billion contract with the US in late June for 105 million vaccine doses that are anticipated to be delivered as soon as late summer through the end of 2022.

The latest CDC data shows that 83.5% of people ages 5 and older have received at least one vaccine shot, and 71.5% are fully vaccinated. In addition, 48% of individuals have received one booster dose, while 31% of ages 50 and older have obtained the second booster dose.

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