FDA Experts Vote to Make All COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters Bivalent
In a unanimous decision, all 21 voting members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine committee recommended that the U.S. start using the same COVID-19 virus strain in all of the COVID-19 vaccines, including primary and booster doses. That means the bivalent booster dose, which targets both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the Omicron BA.4/5 strains, would soon become the only type used for all primary shots and boosters. The decision reflects a turning point in the pandemic. Until now, vaccine makers have tried to keep up with constantly evolving variants, but they’ve always been a few steps behind. The variants targeted in the bivalent booster, for instance—which the FDA only authorized in September—have since been eclipsed by the newer Omicron variants BQ.1.1, XBB.1, and XBB.1.5. Standardizing all vaccines to target the same strains—then evaluating whether they should be updated on a regular cadence, an approach the committee seemed enthusiastic about—would make variant-chasing a thing of the past. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The committee heard data from FDA scientists, scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and vaccine makers. The research they presented all suggests that the bivalent booster generates stronger (albeit not dramatically higher) levels of antibodies against even the latest virus variants. The data included early looks at how the bivalent booster prote...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Alice Park Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 healthscienceclimate Source Type: news
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