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Updated Covid boosters ready in US this week, says White House

US health officials said on Tuesday that the vaccine is moving closer to an annual jab, as with flu shots

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Coronavirus Vaccine | United States | White House

Reuters  |  Washington 



Covid vaccine, booster dose
Photo: Reuters

New COVID-19 boosters aimed at fighting currently circulating variants of the coronavirus will be widely available this week, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday, adding that the vaccine is moving closer to an annual jab, as with flu shots.

By the end of this week, 90 per cent of Americans will live within five miles (8 km) of sites carrying updated vaccines, U.S. health secretary Xavier Becerra said at a briefing hosted by the .

The will remain available at no cost, COVID Response Coordinator Ashish Jha told reporters.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said even with the seven-day average of COVID hospitalizations down 14 per cent to 4,500 per day, the new shots could help prevent as many as 100,000 hospitalizations and 9,000 deaths per year.

Officials said people could get the COVID boosters this fall and winter alongside their regular annual flu shots.

The redesigned boosters, green-lighted by U.S. health regulatory agencies last week, aim to tackle the BA.5 and BA.4 variants of the novel coronavirus that the CDC said now account for 88 per cent and 11 per cent of circulating COVID-19 viruses respectively.

The so-called bivalent vaccines also still target the original version of the virus.

While regulators have backed COVID boosters for those aged 12 and older, Jha told reporters at the briefing it was not yet clear when they could be approved for younger children.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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First Published: Tue, September 06 2022. 22:09 IST

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