Moderna booster photographs: Biden to kick off marketing campaign for 100 million eligible boosters as omicron arrives

Moderna requests COVID-19 vaccine booster authorization for all adults. What to know today

The Moderna booster is right here. The CDC recommends you get one.


Algi Febri Sugita/Getty Photographs

For essentially the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden will announce a brand new marketing campaign to get COVID vaccine boosters into 100 million folks who’re nonetheless eligible to obtain them. The hassle to get Individuals immunized towards COVID-19 will even embody vaccine availability for the tens of thousands and thousands of people that haven’t acquired a primary or second shot of any vaccine, together with tens of thousands and thousands of youngsters.

Biden’s marketing campaign, which additionally consists of testing equipment reimbursement and stricter journey guidelines for worldwide vacationers, is pushed by the emergence of the omicron variant, which was confirmed in California on Wednesday and which has been detected in 30 nations. Whereas a lot continues to be unknown concerning the vaccine response to the brand new omicron variant, well being professionals imagine that booster photographs from Moderna and Pfizer might assist gradual the unfold — together with hospitalization and deaths — as the results of the vaccine weaken over time.

The COVID-19 vaccines have confirmed to be extremely efficient in stopping hospitalization, and people who are unvaccinated are 10 instances extra more likely to be hospitalized if contaminated. With the federal vaccine mandates halted by a courtroom order, Biden is popping to different measures to get booster photographs administered. The federal government has additionally ordered 13 million programs of antiviral medication in anticipation of upper case masses because the omicron and delta variants proceed to unfold.

This is what you could know concerning the Moderna booster, together with its unintended effects. For extra particulars, here is the most recent on COVID-19 vaccines for teenagers, what to do when you misplaced your vaccination card, the distinction between a booster and a 3rd dose, and what to learn about breakthrough infections


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Is Moderna creating a booster shot for omicron?

Scientists worry the omicron variant could spread more quickly than the now-dominant delta variant because of the number of mutations the new strain has compared to delta. Moderna is currently working on an omicron-specific booster vaccine, along with testing a COVID-19 vaccine that could protect against several mutated strains of the coronavirus.

First, the company — and every other vaccine-maker around the world — is testing the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine against omicron, but it’ll be weeks before lab tests show evidence of how well Moderna protects people from the new variant. 

As part of its booster testing, Moderna is investigating if a 100-microgram dose of its booster provides better protection against the omicron variant. The Moderna booster authorized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a 50-microgram dose, while the first two shots were each 100 micrograms.

If Moderna needs to make a new vaccine modified for the variant, it could be available early in 2022.

Who can get a Moderna booster dose now?

As of Nov. 19, all US adults — those age 18 and older — are eligible to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. They qualify if it’s been at least six months since they’ve received a second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster dose after two months. Adults are encouraged to get whatever booster dose is available to them, even if that means mixing and matching vaccine boosters (more below), in other words, getting a different booster shot than their original vaccination.

What are side effects of the Moderna COVID booster shot?

According to the CDC, those who got the Moderna booster dose reported fewer reactions than they did after the second dose of the vaccine. In its study, the CDC found 95% of those who got Moderna for the first round of vaccine shots chose Moderna for the booster dose.

Yes, it’s safe to mix and match vaccine boosters

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized mixing COVID-19 boosters, which in the US means Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Anyone eligible for a booster can get any of the available brands of coronavirus vaccines. If you initially received Johnson & Johnson and it’s been two months or longer since you received the initial dose, you’ll be able to get the Moderna or Pfizer booster. If you received Moderna or Pfizer for your first two shots, you could pick any authorized vaccine available to you — including J&J — if you qualify and it’s been six months or longer since your second shot.

What does the Moderna booster shot do?

A COVID-19 booster shot — whether from Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson — tops off your immune response and guards against a breakthrough COVID-19 infection as the vaccine’s effectiveness decreases over time.

Recent studies of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines show that their effectiveness can begin to wane after six months. Moderna said early data suggests that those who received the Moderna vaccine in 2020 are showing a higher rate of breakthrough COVID infections than those vaccinated this year, suggesting the need for a booster to maintain high levels of protection.

Is the Moderna vaccine booster the same as the original two COVID-19 doses?

Yes, almost. As with Pfizer’s booster, the third Moderna shot will be the same vaccine as the first two doses, except it’ll be a half dose. Moderna is also working on a combination shot that includes this year’s flu vaccine and its COVID-19 booster vaccine, but that’s not available right now.

Where can I get the Moderna booster shot?

According to the White House, boosters will be available at roughly 80,000 places across the country, including over 40,000 local pharmacies. Some 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within five miles of where they live. You can check Vaccines.gov to see which vaccines are available where, or call 800-232-0233 for vaccine information.

Is the Moderna COVID-19 booster shot free, or do I have to pay?

All booster shots will be free, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. However, depending on where you get your booster shot — for example, at a local pharmacy — you may be asked to log your insurance status. You may be asked to provide your insurance card information, including your name, date of birth and membership number. You will not be charged for your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.

Will I need a fourth COVID booster shot?

The CDC updated its guidance to say that next year, some immunocompromised people will be able to get a fourth COVID-19 booster shot. It’s unclear if other groups will need to get a fourth dose at this time, but guidance could change in light of the omicron variant. 

For more on coronavirus treatments and vaccines, here’s what we know about monoclonal antibody treatments, the new federal vaccine mandates and why some people may not want the shot.

CNET’s Jessica Rendall contributed to this article.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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