Updated COVID vaccines approved by FDA ahead of expected fall … – New York Daily News

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Updated COVID-19 vaccines were approved Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ahead of an expected fall and winter surge amid new strains of the dreaded virus.
The new batch comes from Moderna and Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, and will reportedly be available to the majority of Americans even if they have no prior COVID vaccination history.
The FDA does not consider this latest shot a “booster” but an update that the companies believe will better combat the current omicron variant, known as XBB.1.5. 
It’s a a shift in treating the COVID vaccine as a more of a traditional yearly shot along the lines of the flu shot.
The FDA’s approval is not the final green light for the updated vaccine. The new shots must also be approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has an advisory panel set to offer an official recommendation Tuesday.
If the panel gives the nod, the vaccines could be brought to market as soon as this week, with people able to obtain both their flu shots and COVID shots in one visit.
“Vaccination remains critical to public health and continued protection against serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death,” FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said in a Monday statement.
“We very much encourage those who are eligible to consider getting vaccinated.”
Hospitalizations due to COVID have been rising in recent months, although the numbers are still less than those recorded during the same time last year.
Similar to previous versions of the vaccine, this new shot is expected to protect against the more serious consequences of COVID rather than the mild symptoms people typically experience.
Novavax, another biotech company, also developed an updated vaccine that the FDA is still in the process of reviewing.
With News Wire Services
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