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FDA approves updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

The agency said Americans can start getting boosted as early as Fall 2023.

Vacuna Pfizer

(Wikimedia Commons).

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On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that were updated to treat the new variants.

Although some doctors have explained that the new variations of the pandemic virus are "relatively harmless" and that there is no need to fall into the "fear porn," the FDA insists that vaccination "remains critical to public health and continued protection against serious consequences of COVID-19." Because of this, the agency approved the emergency use of new vaccines.

According to the FDA statement, the new versions of the vaccines include a monovalent component corresponding to the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant that will be available starting this fall.

Who could get vaccinated?

The new vaccines are approved for people over the age of five regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated before, and will only require one dose.

Children between six months and four years old who have been vaccinated in the past may receive one or two doses of the new vaccines. However, if they have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, they will be able to receive up to three doses of Pfizer or two doses of Moderna.

The FDA also advised that unless a new variant of COVID emerges, an annual booster of these updated vaccines will most likely be necessary.

FDA says it understands the risks of these vaccines

The agency reported on its website that the updated vaccines were manufactured with a similar process as the previous ones. It said, "The benefit-risk profile of previously authorized and approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is well understood as these vaccines have been administered to hundreds of millions of people in the United States." The statement does not mention what risks these vaccines pose.