MPA | Pharmacy News

With a pledge from COVID-19 vaccine makers to have reformulated doses ready for rollout by September, the Biden administration is pausing plans to widen availability of second boosters until then. Only Americans aged 50 years and older or those aged 12 and older with compromised immune systems currently qualify for a second booster dose. Officials were contemplating offering the doses to additional groups this summer, but instead will kick off a booster campaign timed to coincide with the manufacturers' fall timeline.

Those doses are hoped to be more effective against Omicron subvariant BA.5, which now accounts for most infections. All adults will likely be cleared to receive them, sources reveal, and some minors as well. That being said, health officials recommend that Americans who are already eligible should receive their second boosters now, rather than wait for the new formulas. Those individuals should not then get back in line this fall, as receiving doses so close together will likely be ineffective and could actually increase risks for some recipients.

Vaccine fatigue remains a concern, meanwhile, with the number of recipients falling with each new dose that is offered. Less than 30 percent of qualified Americans, for example, have received a second booster — which, for most, is their fourth injection of vaccine.

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