White House officials announced the roll-out of a new COVID-19 booster that’s supposed to combat the omicron variant.
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New booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine should be available soon to anyone 12 and older who wants one. A federal advisory panel voted 13-1 Thursday to recommend the boosters after members spent more than six hours reviewing data on the current state of the pandemic and the new shots. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed off on the panel’s recommendation a few hours later.
“This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion,” Walensky said in a statement. “If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”
The new boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna target both the original virus and the most recent variants, called BA.4 and BA.5, which now dominate both the U.S. and the world. Pfizer-BioNTech shots will be available to anyone 12 and older, while Moderna’s will be for adults.