September 28, 2023

New COVID Boosters on the Horizon: Heres What You Need to Know

Title: FDA Considers Approval of COVID-19 Booster Shots amidst Rising Cases

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to grant approval for new COVID-19 booster shots in an effort to prevent a potential “tripledemic” during the fall and winter months. The boosters are aimed not only at combating COVID-19 but also Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and influenza.

Although the FDA could authorize the boosters as early as Friday, there is a possibility of a slight delay until next week. Once the FDA grants approval, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will collaborate with its advisory committee to provide recommendations on the distribution and administration of the shots.

Rising COVID-19 cases in several regions, including Illinois, have raised concerns among the public about whether to wait for the new shots or receive the current ones. Dr. Allison Arwady, a prominent figure in public health, has advised people to wait for the new vaccine, which is scheduled to be available in late September or early October.

The upcoming booster shot will specifically target the XBB.1.5 strain, which is currently the dominant variant in the United States. Current guidelines suggest that individuals aged six months and older should receive a COVID vaccination, with a recommended dosage of three shots for those who are completely unvaccinated.

For those who have already received their initial doses, the recommendation is to get a bivalent booster dose. Additionally, immunocompromised individuals may have the option to receive a second booster if recommended by their healthcare provider.

To track their COVID vaccination history, individuals can visit Vax Verify, a platform accessible through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) that provides information on vaccination records.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the approval and administration of booster shots are crucial steps in combating the virus and ensuring a safer fall and winter season. The FDA’s decision, followed by CDC recommendations, will play a significant role in providing guidance to individuals and healthcare professionals alike.

This news article aims to inform the public about the potential approval of COVID-19 booster shots, the dominant strain they target, and the recommended dosage for various populations. While uncertainties surrounding the availability of the new shots persist, it is advised that individuals stay updated with reliable sources such as the FDA, CDC, and their local healthcare authorities.