The U.S. has already seen a summer bump in cases in recent weeks, with hospitalizations and wastewater levels of the virus creeping back up.  So many people may be wondering when they can get another COVID vaccine.  The updated fall COVID booster will likely be available around mid-September, once the FDA authorizes it.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will then issue recommendations on which groups of people can or should get vaccinated.

Experts agree about those who would benefit most from the fall COVID booster are people age 65 and above, as well as those who are chronically ill, immunocompromised or pregnant.  Don’t take chances!  Infants aged six months or older who have not been vaccinated are also at increased risk from COVID and will benefit from getting the vaccine’s primary series.

The advisory groups  determine which strains of the COVID-causing virus SARS-CoV-2 should be included in the fall booster.  It settled on XBB.1.5, which has been the dominant variant in the U.S. for much of this year. Recently a new variant called BA.2.86 was detected, and it has more than 35 new mutations, compared with XBB.1.5.  Cases of the BA.2.86—which, like XBB.1.5, is an offshoot of the well-known Omicron variant—have been found in the U.S., Denmark, Israel and other countries.  The new variant currently makes up only a tiny fraction of cases.  See this Article

Whether BA.2.86 is better at evading the immune system or causes more severe disease remains to be seen, but FDA scientists say the fall COVID booster and prior immunity should still help protect against serious illness.

Help stamp out COVID – Get Vaccinate – Be Safe!