The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research approved new COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. This approval comes at the perfect time as cases and hospitalizations are on the rise as we begin our transition from summer to fall. The vaccines have been approved for ages 12 and up and are each allowed for emergency use for babies 6 months and up.
A third company, Novavax Inc. has their vaccine under review presently, which would also be used on people 12 years or older.
Health experts will be getting together soon to discuss the recommendations they will release to the public on how to proceed with getting the vaccine. The Biden administration has set a goal to make the vaccines available in the next week or so, as they want them available mid-September. According to the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, their vaccine shot will be available in the next few days.
Before any vaccine can be made available to the public, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) has to publish their official recommendations for this round of immunization. This new round of vaccines started being worked on back in June when federal health officials asked for reformulated vaccines to help combat the popular dominant variant at the time.
We have since moved on to another new variant of dominance. According to Pfizer and Moderna, they already reworked the shots as well to protect against this latest variant as well. However, there is another prominent variant that has been raising concerns because there are approximately 30 mutations on its spike protein according to researchers. Both pharmaceutical companies said that they found increased antibodies for this variant in their studies as well, meaning there will be some defense against the highly mutated variant.
The CDC is very pleased with the results of the studies and the promising results they show.
The vaccines are highly needed at this time as we are once again seeing hospitalizations increasing to a concerning level. By the end of August, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 were up 16% and deaths were up 11%. Experts expect this wave to peak in November but feel reassured with the vaccines incoming.