Here’s when to expect a 4th COVID-19 booster shot

  • A fourth COVID-19 booster vaccine will be made available to a majority of Americans in early September, according to current projections from federal health officials.

  • This booster vaccine was specifically designed to treat the prevalent BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron, as well as to boost immunity on the original strains of SARS-CoV-2 (which is why it is called “bivalent”).

  • Pfizer’s recall could be available immediately after federal approval, which is expected in early September. Moderna’s booster, however, may roll out at a later date.

  • Below you will learn: When will these new bivalent booster vaccines be available? who can receive their 4th vaccine this fall; and if the new bivalent booster vaccines will offer better protection against COVID-19.

Federal health officials have signaled that Americans who have not yet received a fourth COVID-19 vaccine will be able to do so shortly after Labor Day, according to several reports. Updated booster vaccines made by teams at Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna aim to reduce the risk of further spread of the Omicron-powered SARS-CoV-2 subvariant this fall. More people will be able to get vaccinated than previous reminders: eligibility will be broader and will include more than the elderly and immunocompromised.

Called “bivalent” vaccines by health officials, these targeted injections specifically target two viruses Sub-variant of Omicron strains, BA.4 and BA.5, which fed the majority of new decisive cases recorded this summer. The current figures shared by the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC) show that BA.5 is responsible for over 90% of COVID-19 cases here in the United States right now.

These new booster shots will also aim to rebuild immunity to the original strain of coronavirus that people acquired earlier in the pandemic, explains Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPHthe director of the University of California, Irvinepublic health program.

“A ‘bivalent’ booster just means it will target two different antigens, meaning it will respond to the original coronavirus strain as well as the Omicron variant,” Boden-Albala said. Good Housekeeping. “[Healthcare officials] find that the original vaccine was not as sensitive to new variants as we had hoped, so we need these bivalent boosters. »

Pifzer’s new booster vaccine will be available for people over 12, while initial deposits by Moderna suggest that their boosters will remain targeted for anyone over the age of 18.

When will the new bivalent booster vaccines be available?

CDC officials will have a final say on when the new booster shots will be released to the public — and the agency plans to make this decision in early September, just before the federal Labor Day holiday. According BNC News, The Pfizer and Moderna teams are actively seeking initial Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, but final clearance will come from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Currently, this council must meet on September 1 and 2and is expected to sign shortly thereafter.

This timeline likely means Americans could get a COVID-19 booster shot starting in the second or third week of September, based on how quickly manufacturers can roll out vaccines to clinicians across the country. If there are supply chain issues, healthcare providers may choose to strategically provide first access to those who are at higher risk of serious infection, White House officials reported earlier this summer.

According to this CNBC report, Health insiders expect Pfizer’s recall to be approved first and reach healthcare providers sooner, given its wider range of initial availability for anyone over 12. While Moderna’s booster dose will eventually seek authorization for a wider age range, its 18+ vaccine is expected by some be available the first week of October – and the two booster shots will be made available to pediatric patients later in the fall.

Who can receive a 4th bivalent booster vaccine?

These new booster shots will lower the age of eligibility to 12+ – but these booster shots will only be available to those who completed a two-shot primary series earlier in 2022 or 2021. Why? This primarily concerns healthcare providers who want to ensure optimized immunity against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.

“The original vaccine series provides a foundation for full coverage, but as we start to see these other variants, the boosters specifically trigger the immune system to fight off new strains,” Boden-Albala adds.

But don’t wait for the fall booster if you don’t have the boosters currently available — the boosters currently available provide crucial protection against death and hospitalization, according to Boden-Albala and other health experts. CDC data suggests that more than half of those who received their first round of COVID-19 vaccines of two shots did not receive their first booster shot as instructed, meaning they are not up to date on vaccinations. Getting a booster vaccine now will not prevent you from registering for the next bivalent vaccine booster later this winter.

Will these new bivalent booster vaccines be more protective?

Boden-Albala says these bivalent booster vaccines have been approved in the UK earlier this month, and the results of the submitted trials look promising. “The hope is that these particular boosters will protect us against further COVID surges and additional variants,” she says. “Vaccines are effective, but these boosters are only [further] helping our immune system target the variants that keep popping up.”

The next booster, officials say, could be crucial in stemming widespread outbreaks as temperatures drop and a large wave of new COVID-19 infections are expected. have an impact on global health. “It’s going to be really important that people this fall and winter get the new vaccine; it is designed for the virus that is out there,” said Ashish Jha, MD, White House COVID-19 response coordinator. at a virtual event in mid-August.

As more information about the coronavirus pandemic develops, some of the information in this story may have changed since it was last updated. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please consult the online resources provided by the CDC, WHOand your local public health department.

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