NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A big step forward in the covid pandemic appears to be coming in a matter of weeks, with a COVID-19 booster vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant, BA.5 which is responsible for most COVID-19 cases.
Today Pfizer asked the FDA to approve it’s version for emergency use authorization.
A new vaccine booster is being seen as a pandemic game changer, the first to target a specific variant.
“What we know is that from the studies is that these new vaccines do boost the level of neutralizing antibodies against omicron variants quite significantly by about 2 to 3 fold over current boosters,” says Yale Medicine Dr. F. Perry Wilson.
He says it is not known yet if it will translate into fewer covid infections until it goes through a large rollout and people are tracked.
“Now it should, because antibody levels generally correlate with the likelihood of infection. But we don’t actually know that for sure,” said Dr. Wilson.
The new vaccines are boosters so people will still need to be vaccinated against covid.
Dr. Wilson weighs in on what ages will be eligible for the vaccine booster.
“We’re looking probably at 12 years old and up for people if it’s the Pfizer omicron specific booster that they’re getting and 18 years old or up for, if it’s the Moderna specific, the Moderna a specific booster,” said Dr. Wilson.
As for supply the U.S. government has ordered 105 million Pfizer doses as soon as they get the ok.
The order is already placed for 66 million Moderna doses if and when that brand gets approval.
All in hopes of preventing new variants, like omicron, from crippling the nation again.
“So I think they have a really important role at keeping our hospitals open so that we can take care of all of the other reasons people come to the hospital,” said Dr. Wilson.