The Next Round of COVID-19 Vaccines to Target New Omicron Subvariant, FDA Says
NEW YORK- The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the next round of vaccines against COVID-19 will be directed specifically against one of the most recent subvariants of the coronavirus.
Panel of Advisors Endorses Formula Change
The FDA’s decision comes a day after a panel of outside advisors to the agency endorsed the formula change. Vaccine manufacturers have been instructed to develop doses that protect against the XBB.1.5 subvariant of omicron.
Enhanced Protection Against Evolving Virus
Current inoculations include the original coronavirus and a previous omicron subvariant. While these doses still provide some level of protection against severe disease and death, the effectiveness diminishes over time and is particularly short-lived against milder infections. The XBB subvariants have now become dominant, necessitating an update in the vaccine formula.
Preparations Underway by Vaccine Manufacturers
This week, the three US companies that produce COVID-19 vaccines have confirmed that they have already made preparations to change the formula. They are set to manufacture millions of doses, which will be available this fall. Pfizer, one of the companies, has stated that it could have a few doses ready as early as next month.
Recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will ultimately decide whether the new doses should be recommended for nearly all Americans or only for certain high-risk groups.