FDA clears Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na's bi­va­lent boost­ers, seek­ing to slow the next wave of Omi­cron

As part of an at­tempt to halt a like­ly new surge of hos­pi­tal­iza­tions and deaths from Omi­cron’s BA.5 sub­vari­ant this fall, the FDA on Wednes­day au­tho­rized both Pfiz­er/BioN­Tech and Mod­er­na’s bi­va­lent boost­ers, which aim to at­tack this lat­est ver­sion of the dead­ly coro­n­avirus, which has tak­en more than one mil­lion lives since March 2020.

But the au­tho­riza­tions of these up­dat­ed boost­ers for those 12 and old­er — which part­ly in­cludes an mR­NA com­po­nent of the orig­i­nal coro­n­avirus strain from Wuhan, Chi­na, and al­so an mR­NA com­po­nent from the BA.4 and BA.5 lin­eages — didn’t come with any new hu­man da­ta, leav­ing crit­ics to ques­tion if the new shots are ac­tu­al­ly more ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing hos­pi­tal­iza­tion or death than the orig­i­nal vac­cines from both com­pa­nies.

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