The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the updated COVID-19 booster vaccine shots from Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderns that mainly target the dominant BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, as the government of the United States prepares for a vaccination campaign that can start in some days.
Both COVID-19 vaccines also include the original version of the COVID-19 virus targeted by all the past COVID-19 shots. The US FDA authorizes the vaccine shots for everyone over the age of 12 years, who has had a primary vaccination series, and is at least two months out from a past COVID-19 booster shot.
This marks a shift from the current vaccine shots based on the original virus, which are available to people 50 years and older, and who have been immunocompromised. The retooled vaccine of Moderna was authorized for people aged 18 years and above, while the Pfizer COVID-19 shot will be available for those aged 12 years and above.
The experts said that the updated COVID-19 vaccines will be important for older people, and those who are immunocompromised, but also said there is limited data to support the level of protection, that is promised by the US government.