The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved updates versions of the Covid-19 vaccines, a move that comes as the nation has seen an uptick in infections and hospitalizations.
The next step will be for an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which meets today, to recommend guidelines for who should receive the new vaccines.
Axios notes that the approved shots are from "Pfizer and Moderna that are targeted against the XBB.1.5 variant, which was the dominant strain circulating in the United States earlier this summer.
"Scientists believe that the shots will be protective against the now-dominant EG.5 variant and other newer strain, FL.1.5.1,, which are both XBB descendants.
"Moderna and Pfizer also said their updated shots showed a strong antibody response against the BA.2.86 variant, which has raised some concern among scientists because of its many mutations."
The story points out that "health officials expect that COVID shots will be updated every fall to account for circulating variants, similar to the schedule for annual flu shots. This is the first booster season in which the shots won't be fully covered by the federal government, but most people with insurance should be able to get them at no-cost."
The CDC is expected to move quickly in making recommendations.
- KC's View:
Nobody is expecting that with the new vaccines will come mandates of any kind - while there has been an increase in cases, it is nothing like it was just a few years ago. We also have treatments for Covid that were not available in the early days.
But let's not forget - there have been 108,319,706 total Covid cases in the US, with close to 1.2 million Covid-related deaths.
I'm sure there will be people who for any number of reasons won't want to get vaccinated. I'm also sure that there will be those who will promulgate conspiracy theories about the vaccines and the medical establishment, and I just hope the combination of all these things doesn't lead to broader public health issues that will require more stringent approaches.
I know this. On the advice of my doctor, whom I trust implicitly, I'm waiting to get my latest Covid vaccination until the new recommendations are published. (I'm old enough that I'm sure I'll be included.) But when I can get it, I will. I'll also get a flu shot. Yesterday I got my RSV vaccine. I've gotten my shingles and pneumonia vaccines, and am happy to get whatever vaccines are available in order, as much as I can control it, to live a long, productive and happy life - and protect myself against the people who are unprotected.