What Are The New Updates Regarding The COVID-19 Booster?
Major new updates about COVID-19 booster?
COVID-19 booster shots are getting an upgrade. Federal health officials last week flagged off the long-awaited improved booster by Moderna and Pfizer for people 12 years and older. COVID-19 Booster vaccines have been modified to better protect vaccinated people against hospitalization and death from new viral forms. They are bivalent, meaning they can target the original COVID-19 strain as well as Omicron BA.5, the dominant variant in the United States.
Health officials stressed the timeliness of the updated booster rollout, as people will spend more time gathering indoors in the fall and winter.
Researchers told the CDC advisory panel last week that making new COVID-19 booster shots available in September could have avoided thousands of deaths and hospitalizations compared to the November campaign.
Eligible for the New Booster Dosage:
Teens and adults eligible for a booster can go ahead and get the shot right away. If you have Novavax or Johnson & Johnson Elementary Series, you can still get a booster shot by Pfizer or Moderna.
Here’s the analysis by age group:
Under 12 years of age: This group is not yet eligible for a bivalent booster.
12 to 17 years of age: You can get a Pfizer booster shot at least two months after your primary series or your latest booster shot.
18 to 49 years of age: You may receive an updated booster dose from Moderna or Pfizer at least two months after your primary series or your last booster shot.
50 years and older: You can get an updated COVID-19 Booster from any company for at least two months after your primary series shot or last booster. Anyone in this group can receive a booster, regardless of how many dosages you’ve had before.
Feeling immunized, you may have already received more than one booster shot, and you may get a new booster two months after your last vaccine.
What makes this booster different:
The bivalent booster is not an entirely new vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer modified their existing vaccines to target different versions of the COVID-19 virus. The new COVID-19 booster is designed to protect against the original strain and the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
Both Pfizer and Moderna’s bivalent boosters are of the same dosage size as the previous version. Pfizer’s vaccine contains 30 mcg of antigen, while Moderna contains 50 mcg. In each vaccine, half the dose protects against newer forms of Omicron, while the other half dose is the original vaccine formula.
How well does the new booster work:
Moderna and Pfizer conducted clinical data on bivalent vaccines geared toward Omicron Ba.1, which peaked in cases in early 2022. In both trials, the COVID-19 Booster induced high levels of protective antibodies in study participants.
The two companies shared data on how the bivalent vaccines—the more current strains targeting BA.4 and BA.5—perform in mice. Moderna bivalent vaccine increased neutralizing antibodies by more than 4-fold in mice, while mice pretreated with the Pfizer bivalent booster showed a 2.6-fold increase in antibodies.
There is no data yet on how well the now-approved COVID-19 Booster work in humans. Moderna has enrolled participants in its clinical study to test the BA.4/BA.5 vaccine and says the data is expected to be available by the end of this year. Pfizer is testing its booster in clinical trials, as well as a BA.1 bivalent booster in children ages 6 months to 5 years.
When should you get a new COVID-19 Booster if you have just had COVID:
After recovering from COVID-19, your body has high levels of immune cells that are ready to protect against re-infection. Memory B cells ensure that the body remembers to make neutralizing antibodies after a few months.
The CDC said people with prior infections can technically get a booster as soon as they recover. However, a recent preprint study suggests that receiving a COVID-19 Booster within two months of recovery is of little benefit to the immune system.
Regardless of the interval, it’s best to stay up-to-date with your vaccinations, even if you get some extra protection from infection. Recent data from Qatar shows that people who have received three doses of the vaccine and have had a prior COVID-19 infection are less likely to become ill with COVID-19 again.
Would it be a good idea to update your COVID-19 Booster shot if you recently got one?
The CDC recommends waiting at least two months after your last dose of vaccine. If you recently had a COVID-19 infection, the agency said you may consider delaying a booster dose until three months after testing positive. Before this rollout, the Government advised adults to wait for five months between their primary mRNA chain and the first booster.
While shorter intervals may be safe, a longer interval may allow your body to build up a more permanent immune response. Waiting four to six months after your last dose of vaccine may be ideal to achieve long-term protection.
Can you mix and match COVID-19 Booster:
Moderna and Pfizer haven’t collected data on how effective it is to get a bivalent booster shot that doesn’t match your primary series.
However, clinical studies on the primary regimen and initial booster suggest that receiving a mixture of two mRNA vaccines may be more effective than receiving all shots from the same manufacturer.
Catherine M. Mixing and matching your vaccine types provides broad immunity, said Edwards, MD, FIDSA, professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
In the end, you should get an updated COVID-19 Booster available.
Can you get a booster and flu shot at the same time:
The upcoming flu season coincides with the bivalent booster rollout. Health experts say people can streamline their vaccine appointments by getting both the flu and booster shots at the same time. The CDC recommends that people get shots in various organs.
Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said that receiving both vaccines at the same time may have the same or only a slightly higher incidence of side effects, but no serious adverse consequences.
“I truly believe that God has given us two weapons – one for the flu shot and the other for the COVID shot,” Jha said in a press briefing.
Need more COVID-19 Booster in the future:
It’s probably too early to know what the booster timeline will look like going forward. Scientists are not yet sure how long protection from the updated booster will last. They also cannot predict which new forms will emerge and how well they will survive existing immune defenses.
With people receiving an updated COVID-19 Booster. it will take several months to know how quickly the immune protection from that vaccination wears off.
Meanwhile, President Biden’s senior adviser on the coronavirus response, Anthony Fauci, told a White House press briefing that the White House was planning to give COVID-19 Booster once a year. as is done with flu shots. People who are immunized can expect to receive boosters more often.