The new booster shots targeting the Omicron variants are rolling out across the country — and are already available at some LA locations — after the CDC signed off on them last week. The Pfizer dose is approved for people 12 years old and up, while Moderna’s is for everyone 18 years and older.
To qualify for the updated booster, individuals must wait at least two months following their initial two-dose vaccines or booster. Those previously infected with COVID must wait three months following their illness. Immunocompromised patients are also eligible, but their systems might not build a significant response due to underlying infections. That’s all according to Rita Shane, vice president and chief pharmacy officer at Cedars-Sinai.
Research shows that the new Omicron-specific shot will reinforce the immune system and help the body fight the new virus strains, she says.
While these boosters haven’t undergone human trials, Shane says they were developed using the same technologies as previous vaccines.
“We know that our bodies are going to have a significant immune response, meaning the ability to combat infection,” she explains. “For those individuals who get vaccination, we would expect to see reduced severity of infection and reduced hospitalizations.”
And much like the annual flu vaccine, Shane notes it’s possible that the shot could regularly become available on an annual or biannual basis.