Updated Covid-19 boosters are expected in September. Will it be too late? – CNN

by | Aug 4, 2022 | COVID-19

Both Pfizer and Moderna are working on bivalent boosters: vaccines made up of both the old formula and a new one that targets the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the coronavirus. If the shots meet US Food and Drug Administration standards, they will probably be available as early as September, Dr. Michael Chang, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, thinks vaccines with an Omicron component will be helpful — within limits.”I just wish that the timing had been sooner so that we could actually be dealing with the kind of BA.5 surge that we have right now,” he said.With the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant now dominant, the goal of minimizing the number of infections is “kind of lost,” but the new vaccines should help keep hospitalizations and deaths down, Chang said. “I do think, anytime you can introduce additional strains or variants into a vaccine, the human body’s immune response tends to be a little bit broader and more durable and potentially longer-lasting,” he said. But it’s impossible to know at this point what variant will be dominant a couple months from now, how different it will be from the currently circulating variants or even how many cases there will be, because it’s hard to predict how humans will behave when cases rise — and cases will most likely rise. Much like with the flu, scientists think the coronavirus transmits Dr. Edward Michelson, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, is seeing many patients again, even those who had Omicron earlier in the year.”Omicron is not protecting people even a few months after they got sick with it. These subvariants are getting them again, much to my surprise,” Michelson said. “The good news is, most of the patients don’t need hospitalization.”Still, 375 people are dying of Covid-relat …

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