September May Bring Updated COVID-19 Booster Shots To Market

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, booster shots from Moderna and Pfizer that have been upgraded to target Omicron coronavirus subvariants may be made accessible in the early fall, subject to approval by federal health agencies. The US Food and Drug Administration had urged vaccination manufacturers to construct a bivalent booster by updating the boosters to include an Omicron BA.4/5 component in June.

An FDA spokeswoman stated that Pfizer and Moderna have indicated that they expect the updated vaccinations to be available as early as September. 66 million doses of Moderna’s bivalent booster shot will be purchased by HHS, according to a deal that was made public on July 29. In addition, the US government has ordered 105 million bivalent boosters from Pfizer.

An FDA spokesman stated that it has been collaborating extensively with vaccine producers over the past few months to make sure that, after FDA’s evaluation for safety and efficacy, improved COVID-19 vaccinations are accessible this autumn to meet changing public health demands. The organisation will analyse proposals quickly in order to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

The FDA would need to approve updated injections and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would need to endorse them.  People 5 and older can currently receive a first booster shot, and only those 50 and older, as well as some immunocompromised individuals, can receive a second booster.

The FDA spokesman advised that those 50 and older who have not yet received a second booster dose of the current COVID-19 vaccination must consider doing so now. One can still take advantage of the current booster possibilities and give yourself enough time to get an improved booster in the fall. The FDA is not currently considering approving a second booster for otherwise healthy individuals under 50 who are receiving the COVID-19 vaccinations in their original formulation.

The representative noted that when boosters having a BA.4/5 component are available, people may consider getting one after a sufficient period following their prior dose. Late in June, vaccine producers reported that Omicron-targeted boosters had elicited a greater immune reaction than the previous vaccines.

Should they be approved and advised, the US government’s agreements with Moderna and Pfizer would make around 171 million bivalent vaccination booster doses accessible for the fall and winter. That would not be sufficient for every US citizen, the Biden administration added in its announcement on July 29. Both agreements have options to buy a maximum of 600 million doses, 300 million from each company, but the release stated that these rights could only be utilised with extra funds from Congress.

The HHS news release quoted HHS Assistant Secretary Dawn O’Connell, who oversees the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, as saying that they look forward to receiving such new variant-specific immunisations and continuing to work with state and local healthcare allies to make the vaccines available for free in communities across the country this fall.