Nebraska Medicine expert: New COVID-19 booster 'more robust'

The FDA approved the new vaccines, CDC likely to follow,
Posted at 8:04 PM, Sep 01, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A CDC panel voted to recommend the new Pfizer and Moderna boosters Thursday. The CDC director still has to give the final sign off, but that is expected soon.

The more targeted COVID-19 booster shot is expected to be available soon. But what makes it different?

All of the vaccines up until this point only contained coding for the original strain of COVID-19. The new boosters contain genetic instructions to target the original strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron subvarients.

"This is a big addition and improvement in the vaccine booster that will presumably give people a more robust response directed at the variant that we are currently seeing," said Dr. Mark Rupp, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Nebraska Medical Center.

You could expect to see it in pharmacies and clinics within the next week or two.

"They are targeting 170 million doses, obviously those will not be all available next week, it'll be some time before there's enough vaccine for anybody who wants it," Rupp said.

According to the FDA, the new Moderna booster is authorized for anyone 18 and older who has completed the primary vaccine series or recent booster at least two months ago.

If you are 12 and older and completed the primary series or had a recent booster shot, two or more months ago, you would be able to get the new Pfizer booster.

"I think it is acceptable that if you've previously had Pfizer, you could get the Moderna booster or visa versa," Rupp said.

Rupp said this could even give you a better response.

For people who have COVID-19 recently, he also said once you have recovered and are out of isolation you can get the shot.

"You're best off getting the booster fairly quickly after having acute illness," Rupp said.

He suggested if you are eligible for the booster, you take advantage of it to protect from severe illness and long-COVID symptoms.

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