FDA Approves Vaccine Bivalent Booster Targeting Omicron Subvariant

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By Tom Kowalski

ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – While many have already gotten their Covid vaccines and booster shots, research shows that they’re much less effective towards protecting against the Omicron subvariant after some time.

That’s where the new booster shot comes in, which specifically targets the Covid-19 Omicron subvariants Ba.4 and Ba.5.

Dr. Becky Dawson, an epidemiologist and associate professor at Allegheny College, says the vaccines start to lose their effect after 4-9 months, depending on the person, but that may not be the case with this new bivalent booster shot.

“It jump starts your your immune system,” says Dawson. “Like, remember reminding it what SARS Co V2 looks like, but it’s really specific to the Omicron variant.”

But will this mean that we’ll now be able to treat Covid boosters more like a yearly flu shot? Dawson says otherwise.

“This virus has surprised us at every turn,” continued Dawson. “Every time we think we understand or we think we have the model, we think we know what’s going to happen next, the virus has done something different and unpredictable. From a scientific standpoint, we really don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

Despite this, Dawson still urges people to get the new booster shot.

And you may not have to travel far to get the shot, as LECOM says they’ll have bivalent boosters as soon as this week.

“We have those some of the Moderna bivalent boosters available,” says Jim Caputo, Vaccine Coordinator for LECOM. “And we’re gonna have that available here on Friday at the LECOM Center for Health and Aging. The Pfizer product, we also have on order, but it’s taking a little bit longer [due to] the supply chain.”

For more information about the new bivalent booster, you can call 814-812-9851, or email vaccineinfo@lecomlsc.org.

To schedule an appointment online, visit lecom.eventbrite.com.


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