The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday approved updated vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech against COVID, which are effective against infectious variants such as omicron XBB.1.5.
These new formulas were developed “to more closely target the variants currently circulating and provide better protection against the severe consequences” of the disease, the FDA said in a statement.
The updated vaccines are approved for people 12 years of age and older and are authorized for emergency use in people 6 months to 11 years of age.
As part of the FDA’s update, the original bivalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States, the FDA said.
In a statement, Pfizer/BioNTech explained that the “current vaccine” is indicated as a single dose for most people aged 5 years and older.
Additionally, children under 5 years of age may be eligible to receive an additional dose of vaccine at this time if they have not completed the three-dose series with earlier formulations.
“This decision comes at a time when cases of COVID-19 are increasing again,” said Albert Bourla, president and CEO of Pfizer.
The pharmaceutical company reported that they hope the vaccine “will be available in the coming days” because they are “waiting for the recommendation of public health authorities.”
After FDA approval, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of independent experts who advise the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the updated vaccines. and make recommendations for its use.
The FDA indicated that the advisory group is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, so that the vaccines will be available in just a few days in some pharmacies and doctors’ offices.
“Vaccination remains essential for public health and continued protection against the severe consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death,” said Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biological Evaluation and Research in the US, in a statement.
Citizens “can be sure,” he added, “that these updated vaccines meet the agency’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, efficacy, and manufacturing quality.”