: Omicron-specific boosters could be rolled out after Labor Day: report


Americans age 12 and older could begin getting omicron-specific COVID-19 boosters soon after Labor Day, according to a new report.

The New York Times reported Tuesday night that the Biden administration is eager to approve the new boosters as soon as possible, and is close to authorizing the updated shots.

On Tuesday, Moderna Inc.

said it had submitted an emergency-use application to the Food and Drug Administration for its experimental bivalent COVID-19 booster for those 18 and older. On Monday, Pfizer Inc.

and partner BioNTech SE

said they had completed the application process for their bivalent booster for those 12 and older.

Also see: Pfizer and BioNTech say data show COVID vaccine has more than 70% efficacy in small children, with cases now rising in just 7 states

The new shots targets not only the original strain of COVID-10, but also the BA.4 and BA.5 strains of the omicron variant. BA.5 is currently the dominant strain in the U.S. Studies of both boosters indicate they provide better and more long-lasting protection against COVID-19 than current boosters.

Federal health officials hope a quick rollout will help prevent a deadly fall and winter surge. But there is concern over whether enough people will take advantage of the new boosters. While 67% of Americans are fully vaccinated — that is, have received their original shots — only 33% have received boosters, according to New York Times data.

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