KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's sign-off on new COVID-19 boosters bring a new phase of the vaccination effort.
The new boosters can be taken two months after completion of the initial series, and will offer protection against the Omicron variant that continues to spread.
"The new boosters will contain the BA4, BA5 component, which is the same spike, but it will also contain the ancestral strain, the original spike, as well," said Dr. Dana Hawkinson of the University of Kansas Health System.
Pfizer boosters will be for ages 12 and up, and Moderna's for ages 18 and up. You can mix and match depending on availability.
"We believe it will be beneficial," Dr. Hawkinson said. "We know the current vaccines still work very well."
Dr. Hawkinson added that the new vaccine mirrors flu shots heading into the fall.
"The influenza components are changed on a yearly basis," Dr. Hawkinson said. "There’s no safety problems with that. We expect that same thing with this booster as well."
The Kansas City Health Department announced today it is expecting a shipment of new shots the week of September 12. KSHB 41 will continue to monitor the timeline of boosters for other providers.
Dr. Samir Patel, a doctor who is originally from Chillicothe and now practices and works in Atlanta, said he volunteered for an original vaccine trial and the booster too.
"This time, I knew going in what to expect as opposed to last time, where I was a little nervous," said Dr. Patel, who got the new booster this past Monday. "But I mean, I want to do my part to help people, and that's how I could do it."
"Tuesday was a bit uncomfortable," he said. "There was some injection site pain, some aches and pains for the body or whatnot. But today, I can't even feel anything, and I feel back to normal."
With the virus still circulating before the fall, Dr. Patel said any progress is a positive.
"I understand that medical breakthroughs can be scary, but as we've previously seen, it has lessened the spread," he said. "We're able to get back to somewhat of a normal life. I liken it to driving down the road. Now you can get into an accident, however, if you're wearing a seat belt, there may be less harm involved to all."
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