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FDA authorizes COVID-19 booster update

Vials of Pfizer’s new COVID-19 booster shot in production Associated Press/Pfizer

FDA authorizes COVID-19 booster update

The Food and Drug Administration authorized a tweak to Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines Wednesday that could boost antibodies against the omicron variant. The booster will only be available to those who have gotten the first two shots in the vaccine series. It’s unclear how much more protection the new vaccine will add or how long it will last. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has to recommend who should get the booster before it will be distributed.

How does it work? The new boosters combine about half of the original vaccine recipe and half of the new one. The new recipe is supposed to protect against the newest versions of omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, which are considered the most contagious coronaviruses to date. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech’s vaccines are for anyone 12 and older, while Moderna's updated shots are for adults at least two months after their initial vaccination.

Dig deeper: Read Ashley Vaughan’s report in Beginnings on patients and doctors asking for a more nuanced approach to boosters.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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