FDA authorizes new COVID-19 boosters ahead of fall booster campaign

(NEW YORK) — New and updated COVID-19 booster shots were given an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday morning, paving the way for shots in arms as soon as next week.

The booster shots were updated to target two different COVID strains in one shot — the current omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, which make up 99% of new cases in the U.S., and the original strain of COVID-19.

This is the first time current COVID-19 vaccines have had a major upgrade. In the future, experts expect the vaccines could be updated periodically to match current strains — akin to the way the flu shot is slightly different each year.

Public health officials directed the vaccine companies to create a bivalent vaccine — a vaccine that targets two different strains — in the hopes that the compilation will provide broader protection against COVID this fall and winter, as infections could rise with flu season, the cold weather and more time indoors.

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