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CDC recommends updated COVID-19 booster vaccines

  • On August 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to authorize bivalent formulations of the vaccines for use as a single booster dose at least two months following primary or booster vaccination.
  • On September 1, CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to discuss whether to recommend the updated booster vaccines.
  • The newly updated formulations from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna contain new components to help protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of COVID-19, which comprise the vast majority of recent reported cases.
  • Importantly, the previous formulations (monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are no longer authorized as booster doses for individuals 12 years of age and older.
  • ACIP members voted to recommend the updated booster vaccines, and in a statement, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “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.”
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