Updated: CDC approves updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 mo+
As widely expected, just one day after the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to help battle the XBB.1.5 strain of the disease, a panel of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisors have also given the updated vaccine their blessing. All that's left now is for CDC director Mandy Cohen (who was newly appointed as of July 10th) to sign off on it in order for distribution to the general public to begin. Via NPR:
A panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed the broad use of new COVID-19 vaccines, as cases of the respiratory illness rise.
The advisers voted 13-1 to recommend the vaccines for people ages 6 months and older. While the benefits appear to be greatest for the oldest and youngest people, the benefits of vaccination exceed the risks for everyone, according to a CDC analysis.
The universal recommendation, as opposed to one that applies to selected groups, could ease the rollout of the vaccine and improve access and equity.
Ideally, an updated COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out once a year, similar to how flu vaccinations typically work.
...The Food and Drug Administration gave the go-ahead to vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Monday. A new vaccine from Novavax is under FDA review and may be approved soon.
UPDATE: As expected, CDC Director Mandy Cohen also signed off on the panel recommendation, clearing the way for widespread distribution of the updated vaccines.
CDC Director Mandy Cohen signed off on a recommendation formed by an independent panel of advisors to the agency earlier Tuesday. The first doses of the new shots will be available at some locations within the next 48 hours, according to the CDC.
CDC Recommends Updated COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall/Winter Virus Season
CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter. Updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna will be available later this week.
Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 2 months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, and protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time. Receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine can restore protection and provide enhanced protection against the variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations in the United States. Last season, those who received a 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine saw greater protection against illness and hospitalization than those who did not receive a 2022-2023 vaccine. To date, hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
Most Americans can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. For people with health insurance, most plans will cover COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. People who don’t have health insurance or with health plans that do not cover the cost can get a free vaccine from their local health centers; state, local, tribal, or territorial health department; and pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program also may receive the vaccine from a provider enrolled in that program.
“We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19,” said Director Mandy Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. “CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones.”
This is the first fall and winter virus season where vaccines are available for the three viruses responsible for most hospitalizations – COVID-19, RSV, and flu. In addition to safe, updated COVID-19 vaccines, at-home tests for the virus can identify infection so you can protect your family, coworkers, and the general public. If you do get sick, talk to your doctor about proven, effective treatments that can reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.