CDC says everyone over 6 months old should get updated Covid vaccine

September 22, 2023

An independent panel of advisers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that everyone over age 6 months should should get the new, updated Covid vaccine this fall.

“Even children and adults with no underlying conditions can still experience severe illness due to Covid,” said Dr. Sandra Fryhofer, an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the updated vaccines, which target the XBB.1.5 Covid variant. And 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.

Moderna and Pfizer have been looking to make their updated Covid shots available by the end of September. They’ve been awaiting approval from the CDC following the FDA’s thumbs up.

Infectious disease experts are voicing agreement with the CDC’s recommendation. 

“I agree with the CDC recommendations because it is a simple recommendation to follow, and I believe that the benefit of the vaccine outweighs any risk at every age level,” Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of infectious diseases at South Shore Health, told ABC News.

He said it’s important to emphasize that the Covid booster is consistent with the flu shot, adding that it’s most important that the elderly and those with comorbidities get the new shot when it becomes available. 

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.

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