“We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19,” CDC Director Mandy Cohen said in a statement.
“CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones,” Cohen added.
What to know:
- The agency expects the shots to be available starting later this week.
- The shots are anticipated to be covered for most people with health insurance.
- For uninsured individuals, the Biden administration
Bridge Access Program should provide free vaccines through participating health centers and health departments.
- Children eligible for the federal Vaccines for Children program should also be able to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.
This final signoff came shortly after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted nearly unanimously in favor of recommending the shots.
For people aged 5 years and older, the vaccine will be administered in a single dose. For those between the ages of 6 months and 4 years, Pfizer’s vaccine will be administered in three doses and Moderna’s will be administered in two.
While nearly all people have protective antibodies against COVID-19 either from prior infection or vaccination, it has been at least a year or more since the last time most got immunized against the virus.
Less than 20 percent of the U.S. received the bivalent booster that became available last year, and many never completed their initial two-dose vaccine schedule.
President Biden in a statement Tuesday evening urged Americans to get the updated vaccine.
“Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the most important protection in avoiding hospitalization, long-term health complications, and death. I encourage all Americans to stay up-to-date on their vaccines,” he said.