The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a new COVID-19 vaccine designed to protect against the omicron variant. This is great news, especially since the effectiveness of your previous inoculation may be waning, a new variant has emerged, and winter presents the risk of a surge in COVID cases. So, what do you need to know about this new vaccine?
The updated vaccine contains a new strain of the virus known as XBB.1.5, which is a descendant of the omicron variant. According to Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist at UT Health San Antonio, this updated vaccine closely matches what is currently circulating and offers better antibody protection compared to previous variants.
The vaccine is available for individuals aged six months and older. However, unlike before, the government is no longer providing bulk vaccines to the public due to the end of the public health emergency earlier this year. Instead, the focus has shifted to an endemic strategy, similar to the approach taken for the flu vaccine.
Although the vaccines should be covered by insurance, those without insurance can turn to the government’s Bridge Access Program for assistance. To find no-cost COVID-19 vaccines, interested individuals can visit vaccines.gov.
It’s worth noting that the COVID-19 vaccine can be taken at the same time as the flu vaccine. The federal strategy now involves consolidating both vaccines into a single yearly appointment. Additionally, individuals aged 60 and older can consult with their healthcare professionals about getting the RSV vaccine, further adding to their protection.
Overall, the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine offers hope and improved antibody protection against the omicron variant. It is crucial to stay informed and take advantage of the available vaccines to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19.
– The Source article by TPR [source]
– U.S. Food and Drug Administration [source]