Health officials encourage people to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters

While COVID-19 isn't causing as much severe illness now, experts say it's still around and could be for years. (CNN, WHITE HOUSE, TWITTER/@ANDREFORATLANTA)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 8:16 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:57 AM CDT
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(Gray News) - The White House COVID-19 Response Team and federal public health officials lauded a new vaccine booster during a virtual briefing on Tuesday to provide updates on the COVID-19 response effort.

Top health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci encouraged people to get this new vaccine booster as soon as they can for optimal protection against the omicron variant.

Participants in the virtual briefing include Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky.

Federal health officials on Thursday approved a new booster designed to battle the dominant omicron variant. People can get booster shots this week at pharmacies or other designated locations.

The shots “can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection,” Walensky said in a statement.

The Pfizer-BioNTech booster is available for people ages 12 years and older. The booster from Moderna is approved for people ages 18 years and older.

The CDC said it expects to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for other pediatric groups in the coming weeks.

The booster shots are combination or “bivalent” shots — half the original vaccine and half protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron versions now causing nearly all COVID-19 infections.