The Biden administration plans to offer updated versions of coronavirus boosters targeting highly transmissible omicron subvariants shortly after Labor Day, according to several media reports.
The new shots would be offered to all Americans 12 and older, and officials hope they will quell an expected winter surge in COVID-19 cases, The New York Times reported.
Dr. Peter Marks, the top vaccine regulator at the Food and Drug Administration, told the Times that, although the new formulations haven’t been tested in humans, he was “extremely confident” in data showing they are safe and effective. Marks added the FDA was close to authorizing the new vaccine boosters, saying they would target the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 that account for almost all of the new cases of COVID-19 in the United States.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have asked the FDA to authorize updated versions of their coronavirus boosters. Pfizer has asked regulators to approve its shots for those 12 and older, while Moderna has applied for use only in adults 18 and older.
Data from trials of the new formulations in mice have shown positive results. Some experts have cautioned vaccine makers to wait to put the new formulations into production until clinical trials are completed later this year. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, stressed to the Times that officials would move forward safely with the “totality of the evidence that we have.”
Fauci added that the flu…