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HomeHealthWhat to know about the new COVID booster

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What to know about the new COVID booster
Earlier this month, Pfizer-BioNTech updated its COVID-19 booster to better protect folks from new virus strains. In addition to the OG formula, these boosters now feature Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike proteins, which will work to reduce the death and illness rates of these highly contagious variants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already approved both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be used as boosters, but this is the first COVID-19 booster shot that’s available and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So, who should get boosted? The CDC now recommends people aged 12+ get the updated Pfizer booster and people aged 18+ get their next Moderna shot. If you got a different brand of vax for your first two doses, don’t worry: The FDA recently authorized the use of mix-and-match booster doses for all currently available COVID vaccines after National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)’s new study found them to be effective. “If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster, and I strongly encourage you to receive it,” CDC Director Dr. Walensky said in a public statement.

Remember that COVID-19 isn’t the only thing you can get sick with this fall or winter – the common cold and flu are circulating, too. The good news: You can get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID booster. Before you run to your local pharmacy to get jabbed, though, consider talking to your healthcare professional to make sure it’s right for you and your health needs.

tl;dr: Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 booster is now boosted with Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike proteins to better protect people from these newer variants. The CDC recommends getting boosted with any available vaccine as soon as you’re eligible so you, your loved ones, and your community can stay as safe and healthy as possible.

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