FDA Approves Updated Covid Vaccines From Pfizer And Moderna As Hospitalizations Rise

Posted on 09/11/23 | News Source: CNBC

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved updated Covid vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, putting the shots on track to reach Americans within days as U.S. hospitalizations from the virus rise.

The agency has not made a decision on an updated Covid shot from Novavax.

The new vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are approved for people 12 and older and are authorized under emergency use for individuals 6 months through 11 years old, according to an FDA release. The agency noted that last year’s Covid boosters from the two companies are no longer authorized in the U.S.

The Biden administration said last month that it expects the new single-strain vaccines targeting the omicron variant XBB.1.5 to be available to the public in mid-September

The jabs still need a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will determine who should get the shots. A CDC advisory panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on a recommendation for the vaccines. 

The upcoming arrival of updated vaccines offers some reassurance to Americans as the nation sees an increase in Covid cases and hospitalizations. While the shots do not target the variants dominant now, the vaccine makers have said they will still offer protection against those strains as children return to school and the weather gets cooler.

“We expect this season’s vaccine to be available in the coming days, pending recommendation from public health authorities,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a release following the approval.

He added that people can ask their doctors about receiving an updated Covid shot during the same appointment as their annual flu shot, “saving time now and helping to prevent severe disease later when respiratory viruses are at their peak.”

Spokespeople for Moderna and Novavax did not immediately respond to a request for comment.