FDA approves updated Covid vaccine

September 11, 2023

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved updated vaccines against Covid-19 to target the latest variant of the virus. 

The approval for new Moderna and Pfizer vaccines comes after the FDA asked those manufacturers to switch to using only a single component in their formulas, which would target the XBB.1.5 Covid variant with the aim of broadening immunity. 

Even though some XBB descendants of have since emerged, scientists say these variants so far have been closely related, so the updated shot should offer adequate protection against Covid as the FDA aims to blunt any potential surge this fall and winter.

The FDA is further hoping Americans will treat getting Covid booster shots in the fall much the same way they get an annual flu shot—both of which can be administered to a patient on the same visit.

Moderna and Pfizer have been looking to make their updated Covid shots available this month, though there’s one more hurdle ahead of them: approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is expected to make recommendations on who most needs to get the updated booster shots on Tuesday. After that, new vaccines could potentially roll out as early as this week.

Currently, more than 270 million Americans, or 81% of the population, have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. Among them, 230 million, or 70% of the population, are considered fully vaccinated.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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