The makers of the three Covid-19 vaccines available in the US – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax – have already started preparing updated boosters that target the strain, called XBB.1.5. They will work on preparing their final submissions, including updated safety data and data comparing the immune responses of these boosters to previous Covid vaccinations.
In the advisory board meeting, Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and the agency’s lead vaccine regulator, said he hoped the next booster rollout could begin in September. He also said that, if that can happen, the launch would coincide with the availability of the new flu vaccine, leading to more public uptake of the recall. Only 17% of eligible Americans received a dual-purpose booster, which was recently recommended by federal health agencies.
What’s next: Marks said the FDA will work closely with manufacturers as they submit data for their upcoming boosters. She also said the agency will meet with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss which populations should receive a booster shot.