BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Updated COVID-19 booster shots could be available in just a matter of days. The FDA approved emergency use of the new vaccine Wednesday.
The newly approved updated booster is a bivalent vaccine. It’s designed to target the most recent and highly contagious omicron variants as well as the previous strain. Doctors hope this new shot will help avoid a winter surge like last year’s.
Pfizer and Moderna said the updated boosters have half of the original recipe and half of an updated recipe that adds protection against the newest omicron variant.
UAB’s Vaccine Research Clinic held an Q&A Wednesday. Director Dr. Paul Goepfert said keeping up with current vaccines and boosters will give you a better at beating COVID-19 infections.
“I’d like to make sure that everybody realizes that these vaccines in their current formulation don’t protect well against infection in terms of the one before, the single monovalent vaccine, it still protects incredibly well against severe disease. And by severe disease we mean hospitalizations and or death and they are 90 plus percent effective against that,” said Dr. Goepfert.
These updated boosters are only approved for people 18 and older. Dr. Geopfert said you should get the booster two months after your primary COVID vaccines or after an infection. Health experts said the omicron variants make up a majority of the COVID cases in the U.S.