Omicron-specific Covid booster injections will be available in only a few weeks. Who will and will not be eligible – Within the next three weeks, Covid booster injections modified to target the BA.5 subvariant of omicron should be available. This raises an essential issue. Who will be eligible to get them?
The concise response: A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells CNBC Make It that everyone over 12 who has completed a main immunization series is eligible. The spokesperson states that it is unlikely to matter whether or not you have previously taken booster doses; but, if you are unvaccinated, you will not be eligible for the new formula until you finish a main series using the present Covid vaccinations.
It is dependent on which booster injections are allowed and when they are approved. First approval is anticipated for Pfizer’s “bivalent” vaccine, which targets both the original Covid strain and omicron’s BA.5 subvariant. According to the CDC, it will likely be available to the whole population of vaccinated Americans aged 12 and older.
The bivalent injection from Moderna is anticipated to follow following later, most likely in October. At least initially, eligibility will be limited to 18-year-olds and older who have been vaccinated. According to the CDC, younger pediatric age groups may become eligible for both vaccinations in the future.
These forecasts are tentative, at least for the time being. A source told NBC News on Wednesday that it will depend on how much supply Pfizer and Moderna can create and distribute by the end of the month. If the supply is limited, individuals at greatest danger, such as the old and immunocompromised, might get the vaccines first.
Federal health authorities think the vaccinations will give the highest degree of protection to yet against the highly transmissible BA.5 subvariant, particularly in the autumn and winter, when a huge wave of Covid infections is expected to sweep the United States.
“In the autumn and winter, it will be crucial for individuals to get the new vaccination. It is meant for the prevalent virus “Tuesday at a virtual event organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid response coordinator, said.
Should I have a fourth booster dosage now, or should I wait for the omicron-specific injections?
If you haven’t had your second dose of booster vaccine yet, Jha recommends getting it now rather than waiting for the new vaccines. This recommendation might apply to many individuals: Only 33.2% of persons aged 50 and older who are eligible for a second booster injection have had one, according to the most recent CDC statistics.
Jha said at the Chamber event, “My basic opinion is that there’s no need to wait; go grab it, even if we’re just a few weeks away.” In a few months, when their protection from the booster has waned, those who get the booster will be ready to receive the BA.5 vaccination.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, has also emphasized that all Americans who are not up-to-date on vaccinations and boosters should do so immediately, noting that the country’s approved vaccines continue to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death exceptionally well.
Fauci told Los Angeles radio station KNX News 97.1′s “KNX In Depth” earlier this month, “If [people] don’t get vaccinated or they don’t get boosted, they’re going to run into difficulty.”
Regarding the BA.5 vaccination, experts are divided as to whether you should receive it as soon as you’re eligible or wait until cases increase in the autumn or winter in order to enhance your immune system’s protection during those important months.
Andy Slavitt, a former senior adviser on President Biden’s Covid response team, said in a Friday Twitter thread that Fauci and Robert Wachter, head of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, backed the former approach.
“The opposing viewpoint is one that nobody wants on record,” Slavitt wrote. Since we do not certain how long the increase would last, why not wait until October? Some individuals with lesser risk who want four months of coverage (a fair minimum expectation) may prefer to wait, according to Slavitt.
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