Why COVID-19 Boosters are Being Reformulated This Fall to Target Omicron

•    The Food and Drug Administration has advised vaccine makers to update their COVID-19 vaccines to also target Omicron.

•    The FDA said it has advisedTrusted Source vaccine makers to update their COVID-19 vaccines to include a component that targets the spike proteins of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
•    These subvariants currently comprise over half of the coronavirus cases circulating in the U.S.
After one-and-a-half years and many coronavirus variants, the COVID-19 vaccines are finally getting an update, the FDA announced on June 30.
This change is to provide broader immunity against fast-spreading Omicron subvariants while still ensuring the same “base of protection” against severe illness and death offered by the original vaccines.
To support these goals, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it has advisedTrusted Source vaccine makers to update their COVID-19 vaccines to include a component that targets the spike proteins of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
As of June 25, these two subvariants account for over half of coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the FDA’s decision is a good one.
“We have seen over time the phenomenon of both waning immunity and immune escape from a new variant,” he said. “So I certainly think that it is time for an updated vaccine.”
He cautioned that there is no guarantee that BA.4/5 will still be circulating by the time the reformulated boosters are rolled out.
However, “I think it’s a reasonable bet that the dominant variant in circulation is going to be some version of Omicron,” he said.

Release date : 2022/07/04
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