SAN DIEGO — Pfizer and Moderna have received FDA authorization for their reconfigured booster vaccines that will target the super-contagious COVID-19 omicron subvariants.
“This provides an opportunity for people once they get boosted with the vaccine to generate antibodies that can neutralize both original variants and the omicron variants,” said Dr. Annaliesa Anderson, Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer,
Both company’s vaccines combine their original COVID-19 vaccine with one that specifically targets the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants. BA.5 in particular has proven to be not only highly transmissible, but also highly likely to re-infect people who recently recovered from an earlier COVID subvariant.
“If you remember, we had beta, alpha, delta, etc. So it really provides the broadest opportunity for protection against COVID-19,” Anderson said.
The CDC advisory group is scheduled to vote Thursday to approve the reconfigured boosters. If the CDC director signs off, people could get shots two days later.
Pfizer’s vaccine is recommended for everyone 12 and up and Moderna’s is approved for everyone 18 and older, which includes older people who may have received a booster just a few months ago and younger people who haven’t been eligible for an additional booster during the latest wave of cases.
“If you’ve had the booster and it’s two months after that, you can go ahead and get the booster. It’s quicker than it was previously. Anybody over 12, if they’ve completed the primary series first shot, they can get the booster if its been two months out,” said Dr. William Tseng, lead COVID practitioner for Kaiser Permanente.