CDC Endorses Recommendation for Updated Covid-19 Booster

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed recommendations for using updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages twelve years and older and Moderna for people ages eighteen years and older.

The updated COVID-19 boosters include a combination of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine mix. This tweaked Shot by Pfizer and Moderna helps restore protection from previous vaccination by targeting more transmissible and immune-evading variants.

When comparing the tweak that has been studied in humans and the one the United States will use, Dr. Sarah Long of Drexel University said, “it is the same scaffolding, part of the same roof, we’re just putting in some dormers and windows.”

These updated COVID-19 boosters will set the path for an autumn vaccination program that could blunt a winter surge.

“I think they’re going to be an effective tool for disease prevention this fall and into the winter,” said CDC adviser Dr. Matthew Daley of Kaiser Permanente Colorado.

According to CDC director Rochelle Walensky “The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants. This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion. If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster, and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”

Several CDC advisers recommend that for people to maximize benefit from these boosters, they will need to wait longer between their last vaccination and the new booster than the two-month minimum set by the FDA. Instead, they recommend waiting at least three months.

Not every CDC adviser approved of CDC recommendation. Dr. Pablo Sanchez of Ohio State University was the only CDC adviser to vote against recommending the shots. “I just feel that this was a bit premature,” he said in a statement, given the absence of human data on how well it works.

The updated COVID-19 booster, however, should only be used as a booster and not as a first vaccine.

 

Source: AP news

Original source: CDC