Here in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved new COVID-19 booster shots for people as young as 6 months old, with vaccinations set to begin as soon as this week. The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna have been reformulated against an Omicron coronavirus subvariant that was dominant when the shots were selected by the FDA in June. The vaccines are the first COVID shots not to be purchased by the federal government. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover the cost of the vaccines; meanwhile, the CDC will administer a program to cover the cost of vaccinating people without insurance or whose plans won’t cover the shots.
This month the World Health Organization warned of a “concerning” rise in COVID-19 cases ahead of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Maria Van Kerkhove: “But hospitalizations are increasing in the Americas, in Europe, in what we call our Southeast Asia region, and that is of worry, given that when we get to colder months in some countries, people tend to spend more times indoors aggregated together, and viruses that transmit through the air, like COVID, will take advantage of that.”