The wait for an updated COVID-19 booster shot is finally over.
The new shot is a “bivalent” one, meaning that it targets older and newer coronavirus strains. Since a majority of cases in the U.S. are of omicron subvariants BA.5, BA.4 and BA.4.6, this vaccine will be more effective.
What data is available about the newest COVID-19 booster shot?
Manufacturers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna both developed their new shots in a short span of time. According to Time, the only data that pharmaceutical companies have submitted to get the FDA’s emergency use authorization is what’s gathered about the safety and efficiency of the booster in animals. Human studies are still ongoing.
“Real-world evidence from the current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which have been administered to millions of individuals, show us that the vaccines are safe,” Robert Califf, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said in a recent tweet.
Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the advisory committee, told Time that though human trials take time, a smaller trial with 100 people can still provide enough data about whether the booster is helpful.
“You can boost people and measure their neutralizing antibodies two weeks later,” he added.
This approach isn’t unknown to the FDA, which approves flu shots in a similar manner stay updated with mutating strains, according to MarketWatch.
Who is eligible to take the new COVID-19 booster shot?
Per the Los Angles Times, the final details on eligibility are still pending, but it’s expected to be used broadly.
What are the top omicron symptoms?
As I previously reported, omicron subvariants have a shorter incubation period, which is why the symptoms may appear earlier.
The most common omicron-related symptoms are:
- Runny nose.