FDA could approve New COVID-19 Booster Vaccines as Cases rise

FDA could approve New COVID-19 Booster Vaccines as Cases rise | The Entrepreneur Review

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) imminent approval of new COVID-19 booster shots is poised to play a crucial role in the fight against a potential “tripledemic” of COVID-19, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), and influenza during the upcoming fall and winter months.

The FDA is on the verge of giving the green light to updated versions of booster shots, with reports suggesting that the authorization could come as soon as this week, though it might extend into the next. This development holds significant promise in enhancing the population’s immunity against COVID-19, especially in light of the evolving virus variants.

CDC’s Role in Recommending Booster Shots

Following the FDA’s approval, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its advisory committee will step in to provide recommendations on who should receive these booster shots and how they should be administered. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is set to convene, with a vote expected during their scheduled meeting next Tuesday. Dr. Mandy Cohen, the CDC’s director, is likely to endorse the boosters shortly after the meeting, potentially enabling rapid vaccination rollout.

However, this crucial guidance comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging in various regions, including Illinois, prompting questions about whether individuals should wait for the new shots or opt for currently available vaccines.

FDA expected to approve new COVID-19 booster as cases rise in US

Transition to Monovalent Boosters

Dr. Allison Arwady, the former commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, suggests that individuals should consider waiting for the new vaccine, projected to be available in late September or early October. This updated vaccine is designed to combat omicron subvariants more effectively, such as the dominant XBB.1.5 strain. Illinois Department of Public Health officials have also hinted at forthcoming guidance, emphasizing the shift to monovalent COVID-19 boosters.

Currently, COVID-19 booster shots and initial doses are formulated as “bivalent” vaccines, offering protection against the original strain and specific omicron variants. However, the forthcoming monovalent vaccine doses will target the XBB.1.5 strain, aligning with the latest dominant variant in the United States.

In terms of existing COVID-19 vaccination recommendations, individuals aged six months or older are encouraged to get vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals are advised to receive three doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, with a four-week interval between each dose. Those who have received their initial doses should consider a bivalent booster, while immunocompromised individuals may potentially receive a second booster under medical advice.

For individuals seeking information about their COVID-19 vaccination history, Vax Verify, accessible through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), can provide the necessary information.

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