Federal health authorities are gearing up for the upcoming fall and winter respiratory viral season, bolstered by new preventive measures against COVID-19 and other viruses.
Officials highlighted the U.S.’s robust position to combat COVID-19, flu, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), citing a 97 percent COVID-19 immunity rate among individuals aged 16 and older.
However, they emphasized that immunity doesn’t guarantee protection and highlighted the availability of new vaccines and antibodies.
In a news article published by The Hill on Friday, August 25, revised COVID-19 shots from Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are expected to be rolled out in mid-September.
The Hill in the news publication explains that, Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines will be fully licensed for individuals aged 12 and older, while being authorized for emergency use in children aged 11 and younger.
Novavax’s protein-based vaccine as The Hill asserts, will also be accessible under emergency use authorization.
Officials emphasized the vaccines’ “robust” protection against the EG.5 omicron subvariant, but cautioned that their effectiveness against the recently identified BA.2.86 strain is still uncertain.
Furthermore, The Hill in the news publication Highlights that, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials also noted that updated shots show a “clear reduction in hospitalization and death.”
Regarding seniors and immunocompromised individuals, officials mentioned that a second COVID-19 vaccine dose might be “reasonable” a few months after the first, although no official recommendation has been made yet.
For the first time, preventive medicines against RSV will be available, including vaccines for adults over 60, a preventive monoclonal antibody for infants, toddlers, and a vaccine for pregnant mothers to pass on immunity to newborns.
While preparations are underway, companies like Pfizer express uncertainty about the popularity of COVID-19 vaccines during this year’s campaign.
According to The Hill, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official stated that promoting vaccine uptake is a top priority, aiming for the highest possible adoption rate.
As health authorities strive to protect the public against respiratory viruses, this comprehensive strategy encompasses COVID-19 and other illnesses, aiming to minimize hospitalizations and deaths as a result of COVID-19 virus and other respiratory infections while ensuring people’s access to necessary preventive measures.