The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines be modified to include components that are tailored to combat the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants beginning this fall.
The FDA said it has not advised manufacturers to change the vaccine for the primary vaccination series, saying the coming year will be “a transitional period when this modified booster vaccine may be introduced.”
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The decision follows a recommendation by the agency’s outside advisers to change the design of the shots this fall in order to combat more recently circulating variants of the coronavirus.
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Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said on Tuesday the regulator hoped to launch a booster campaign with a retooled vaccine by October.
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The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants are now dominant in the United States, according to data from the Cenetrs for Disease Control and Prevention.
— Reporting by Michael Erman in New Jersey and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru
© 2022 The Canadian Press
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