FDA Authorizes Single-Dose Covid Booster Shot for Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently given authorization for updated versions of the Pfizer and Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, as a single-dose Covid booster shot. This decision comes as a response to the emergence and widespread circulation of the XBB 1.5 variant of Covid-19, which is currently one of the most prevalent strains.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that everyone aged six months and older receive the booster shot, particularly those individuals who are at a higher risk of developing severe illness. This includes older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions, and those with compromised immune systems.
Even if individuals have already been vaccinated or have previously contracted Covid-19, it is essential to receive the booster shot. Immunity from the initial vaccination can diminish over time, and the presence of new variants can increase the risk of reinfection. The booster shot aims to prevent serious illness and reduce the chances of experiencing long-term effects of Covid-19.
Peak protection from the booster shot is expected to occur a couple of weeks after administration and should last for several months. It is crucial for individuals to take advantage of this added layer of protection to safeguard themselves and those around them.
While a panel of experts from the CDC supports the broad recommendation for everyone to receive the booster shot, there are differing opinions among professionals. Some believe that the focus should be on the nation’s most vulnerable groups, such as those aged 75 and older with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems.
Fortunately, for most Americans, the booster shot will be covered by their health insurance, ensuring accessibility for all. Individuals without insurance can rely on the federal Bridge Access Program to cover the cost. The list price for cash payments is $120 for the Pfizer booster and $129 for the Moderna booster.
With the recent FDA authorization, individuals are encouraged to consult with their healthcare providers to determine the most appropriate timing for receiving the booster shot. It is a crucial step towards combating the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and protecting individuals from the evolving variants of the virus.