Omicron specific boosters may be available after Labor Day – Vophs.

Americans 12 and older may soon be eligible for another Covid booster. Both Pfizer and Moderna have requested approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new round of Covid shots, this time specifically targeted against the omicron variant, which now covers more than 90% of the country. Responsible for more cases.

Pfizer has requested approval for the boosters for everyone 12 years of age or older, or about 240 million people, while Moderna’s request is for all adults 18 years of age or older, or 200 million people. Is. The FDA is expected to grant approval after Labor Day (September 5), after which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide its recommendations for eligibility.

The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be available soon after approval, while the Moderna version will take longer, and will be available in October or later. It is not yet clear whether all eligible individuals will be offered the Omicron-specific vaccine immediately, as supplies may be limited. If so, the campaign will begin with the elderly and immunocompromised.

What percentage of those eligible will actually be able to get a booster remains to be seen. Only about half Among those eligible for the first booster have received it so far. The percentage goes even lower with the second booster, which is given to only one-third of the eligible population.

Who will be eligible for the new covid booster?

Until now, most Americans have been offered the full vaccination course (two doses, or one for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Six months after the second shot (or two months after the J&J shot), all fully vaccinated individuals became eligible for a booster shot. In most cases, people received boosters in late 2021 or early 2022, and protection has declined somewhat since then, which combined with limited booster use contributed to the spread of Omicron.

People over the age of 50 and some with severe or moderate immunosuppression are also offered a second booster four months after the first.

This means that the population is approaching the booster with different immunization statuses: some received only the first dose, some the full vaccination course, some boosted, some doubled up. Some people have had Covid, some have had it more than once, some don’t know if they’ve ever had it, some have never had it.

But the actual booster rollout likely won’t be as confusing as it sounds: almost everyone who has been fully vaccinated will be eligible, regardless of the number of boosters, dates, and history of covid infection.

Those who have not been vaccinated, or have only received the first dose of mRNA vaccine, need to complete the initial vaccination course to qualify for the updated booster.

Annalisa Merriley

Should eligible patients receive a second booster?

Those who qualify for another booster but haven’t gotten one yet may be tempted to wait for the Omicron-specific one, but they shouldn’t. Now the second booster has to be received. Help their immunity. against the virus, and would likely not disqualify them from receiving the Omicron-specific booster, according to the White House. The covid response coordinator Ashish Jha

Can I mix and match omicron boosters?

As with previous boosters, people will likely be able to get a shot even if it doesn’t match the ones they got before. The only caveat is that only Pfizer has an approved application for 12- to 18-year-olds, so they won’t be eligible for the Moderna booster.

What if I get the J&J vaccine?

People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, whether or not they received a Moderna or Pfizer booster, will be eligible for certain Omicron boosters.

What about children and teenagers?

No omicron-specific boosters will be available, at least for the moment, for children under 12 years of age, even the immunocompromised. Children aged six months to five years have been eligible for the vaccine since June 2022, though Less than 3% At least one dose has been received so far.

Before the expected approval of the omicron-specific booster, immunocompromised children and adolescents were eligible for one regular booster if they were between five and 11, and two boosters if they were between 12 and 17.

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