The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for updated boosters for new variants of COVID-19. These formulas of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for individuals 12 years of age and older.
The updated boosters target both the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. The aim of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign is to generate the strongest and broadest immunity against the virus.
Pegasus Senior Living spoke with their Health and Wellness Director, Dr. Sandra Petersen, to get the latest information. Discover why the booster is the best way for older adults to protect themselves against the ongoing pandemic.
The Importance of a COVID-19 Booster Shot
The health of Pegasus Senior Living residents and team members is always our top priority. We are strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The initial vaccine is essential. It’s equally important to get a booster shot to protect against all virus variants.
Although the initial vaccine is effective, data suggests a booster shot may be necessary to generate the strongest and broadest immunity against all variants of COVID-19.
A bivalent booster focused on the original COVID-19 strain can help accomplish this goal. Any changes to this strategy would require clinical testing. However, that’s nearly impossible since there just aren’t enough adults who haven’t been infected or vaccinated to perform a valid test.
Another unknown is whether the BA.4/BA.5 omicron subvariants will continue to be the dominant viruses. There is always the chance of needing modified vaccines for different variants. It’s similar to the updated influenza vaccines each year.
Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weekly updates on omicron variants and subvariants results.
Ensure that you are protected against all variants of the virus by getting a booster shot.
Who should get these updated boosters?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent booster dose is authorized as a single booster dose in people ages 12 years and older. The Moderna COVID-19 bivalent booster dose is approved for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older.
Talk to your health care provider about whether or not these bivalent vaccines are right for you. Even with prior vaccination, discussing this with your doctor is best.
What do the EUAs mean?
The EUAs for the updated boosters mean that they can be distributed and administered in the U.S. However, it is important to note that these are not yet licensed vaccines; they are still in the investigational stage. Licensure requires submitting additional data to the FDA for review and approval.
What Are the Benefits of Covid Boosters?
By targeting the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, these updated vaccines provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19. Consider the booster especially important as we continue to see new virus variants emerge.
Pegasus Senior Living: Providing Regular COVID-19 Updates
Our communities are doing their part to help stop the spread of the virus. We were all impacted by it, but seniors are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
The FDA’s authorization of these updated boosters is good news for those seeking additional protection against COVID-19. If you fall into the eligible age range, talk to your health care provider about whether or not these vaccines are right for you.
We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to get a booster shot as soon as possible. A booster shot can help protect you and everyone else.
Learn More at an Assisted Living and Memory Care Community Near You
Contact a Pegasus Senior Living community near you if you have any questions about the vaccine or booster shots. We’re here to help!
Thank you to Dr. Sandra Petersen for providing this valuable information.