Extra spring COVID booster cleared for certain Americans

April 18, 2023  -WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Tuesday cleared another COVID-19 booster dose for older adults and people with weak immune systems so they can shore up protection this spring — while taking steps to make coronavirus vaccinations simpler for everyone else.

The Food and Drug Administration said anyone 65 or older can opt to roll up their sleeves again as long as it’s been at least four months since their first dose of the so-called bivalent vaccine that targets omicron strains.

And most people who are immune-compromised can choose another bivalent booster shot at least two months later, with additional doses in the future at the discretion of their physician.

For everyone else, regardless of whether it’s a first shot or a booster, the FDA also said the original versions of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are outdated and will no longer be used. Instead, anyone getting a Pfizer or Moderna shot will receive the newer omicron-targeted version. For most people, if it’s their first-ever vaccine, just one combo dose will be enough.

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