The Biden administration is tweaking its COVID booster plans, according to a new report, and now expects to roll out retooled Pfizer and Moderna shots in September that could perform better against the omicron BA.5 subvariant. The New York Times reported Thursday night that federal officials have decided against expanding second-booster eligibility for adults under 50 right now — a plan that was reportedly under discussion earlier this month — and instead begin a new booster campaign for all adults in September.
The reasoning is that it’ll be worth it for those under 50 to wait slightly longer for the improved booster, rather than expand eligibility now with the older shot. While the older version is still highly effective at preventing serious symptoms and death, the new, omicron-specific boosters are expected to provide better defense against BA.5, though data on that is still preliminary. The Times reported that the decision was made after Pfizer Inc.
and Moderna Inc.
promised they could deliver enough doses by September. All adults are expected to be eligible for the new boosters, and children may get approval too, the Times reported. Currently, second boosters are only available to those 50 and over, or those 12 and over who are immunocompromised.