Americans are being told to roll up their sleeves for another Covid booster shot this fall.
A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans yesterday to offer the injections in mid-September.
The vaccines, made by Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax, target the XBB variants, but officials say they will also provide “robust” protection against “Eris.”
They are also thought to boost protection against BA.2.86 – which has raised concerns about a future wave of infections.
The shots — which use mRNA or protein-based technology — are approved for those over the age of 12 and authorized for emergency use for younger groups. But other countries, such as Britain, are planning to only offer boosters to those over 65.
Covid boosters will be rolled out from mid-September, CDC says (stock photo)
Vaccine adoption continues to decline in America amid anti-vaxx conspiracy theories and little sign that further vaccinations will benefit healthy middle-aged adults.
When the vaccines were initially rolled out, tens of millions of people failed to come forward to get the jab.
Uptake fell further during the first wave of boosters in September 2021 – targeting the Wuhan strain – and the following winter – with jabs targeting the then-dominant Omicron variant BA.5 – killing only 17 percent of eligible Americans came forward to get them.
Officials expect further poor uptake of these vaccines this year.
An official at the CDC said, “Our goal, our duty, our job is to make sure we use those tools.
“Vaccination remains critical this year as immunity wanes and as the Covid-19 virus continues to change.”
The CDC appears to have delayed the release of the tapes to mid-September, after new director Mandy Cohen previously said they would be available in early October.
The CDC has scheduled a meeting for Sept. 12 to discuss who will get the updated boosters.
The goal is to boost as many Americans as possible before the fall to boost immunity against the virus.
“One of the manufacturers has already clarified that when testing their vaccine against the EG.5, it appears that the neutralization is robust,” an FDA official told reporters Thursday.
“I think it’s too early to be sure about BA.2.86 in terms of exact data,” the FDA official said, adding that more information will be available in the coming weeks.
Global and US health chiefs have urged calm over rising Covid cases and new variants, pointing out that virtually everyone now has immunity to the virus.
On Thursday, Dr Marion Koopmans – a virologist who advises the World Health Organization – said the world is now in a “different phase” of the pandemic due to higher levels of immunity to vaccination and previous infections.
And yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added that because of this wall of immunity, America is “its strongest point yet” against the virus.
Concerns have increased in recent weeks following the discovery of the new BA.2.86 variant who is experts in previous species.