There’s a new COVID-19 vaccine specifically for the Omicron variant

New versions of the two most popular COVID-19 vaccines that specifically target the Omicron variant are now available for use in the United States. The U.S. Food

and Drug Administration changed the emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week to include “updated boosters” for both shots meant to protect

against the contagious variant. The Pfizer booster is authorized for adults and children 12 and older, while the Moderna dose is authorized for adults 18 and older.

According to Reuters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work on a recommendation at the end of this week, and use of the boosters could begin as early as this

weekend. Pfizer reportedly has several million doses of its updated shot ready to ship immediately.  FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, MD, reiterated that the vaccines

are safe and effective, and having a Omicron-specific booster is important as the weather changes toward the end of the year. “The COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters,

continue to save countless lives and prevent the most serious outcomes of COVID-19,” he said in the FDA statement. “As we head into fall and begin to spend more time indoors, we

strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to consider receiving a booster dose with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to provide better protection against currently circulating

variants.”