CDC clears Omicron-fighting COVID booster, paving way for rollout next week

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday approved and recommended two reformulated COVID-19 booster vaccines designed to target the strains of coronavirus causing nearly all infections now, the Omicoron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. The Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Omicron-fighting boosters on Wednesday, and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gave final approval on recommendation of an outside CDC advisory panel of experts that met earlier Thursday.

Anybody who received the original course of COVID-19 vaccines is eligible to get the new "bivalent" boosters — half the original formula, half the version designed to fight Omicron — at least two months after their previous booster shot, though experts said four to six months is better. If people get boosted too soon, The New York Times explains, their elevated antibody levels may neutralize the vaccine before it can build up a strong defense against the virus.

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