Updated Booster Vaccines Now Widely Available in the US
To date more than 4.4 million Americans have received the updated COVID-19 booster. The updated vaccine is called “bivalent” because it protects against both the original COVID-19 virus and the newer omicron variants. Getting the bivalent booster is critical for protecting yourself because previous versions of the vaccine much less effective against the currently circulating omicron strains.
Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are producing the updated booster, which are now widely available in the US. Some shipments of Moderna’s booster were delayed while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected a manufacturing facility for possible quality control issues. After completing its investigation, the FDA has since cleared the facility for production and supplies of Moderna’s vaccines have been replenished. Health officials advise people who have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to get the bivalent booster dose. Currently, Moderna’s bivalent booster is authorized for adults 18 years and older. Pfizer/BioNTech’s bivalent booster is authorized for people 12 years and older.