New COVID-19 Booster, Monkeypox Vaccine Available
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently amended emergency use authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to approve an “updated booster” that provides better protection against omicron variants now causing most infections, as well as issued an EUA for the JYNNEOS smallpox and monkeypox vaccine to increase the number of vaccine doses available to help stem the recent outbreak.
The new bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, available for individuals ages 12 and older, contain mRNA components of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as omicron BA.4 and BA.5 lineages. They may be used as a single-dose booster shot at least two months after completion of primary or booster vaccination. The update means the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are no longer authorized as boosters for people 12 and older.
The FDA’s website includes tools for determining who’s eligible for the new booster shots and where they can be obtained locally. Individuals may get a different vaccine product for a booster than they received for their original vaccination. The CDC does not recommend mixing products for the primary two-dose vaccination.
The FDA and CDC strongly recommend vaccination and boosters, which help prevent the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, including serious illness, hospitalization and death.
The FDA EUA for the JYNNEOS smallpox and monkeypox vaccine to increase the number of vaccine doses available to help stem the recent outbreak. The authorization allows healthcare providers to use the vaccine by intradermal injection for individuals 18 years of age and older who are determined to be at high risk for monkeypox infection. For younger individuals determined to be at high risk, JYNNEOS can be administered by subcutaneous injection.
- Those at high risk are men who have had sex with men who have had either a sexually transmitted infection in the last 90 days or multiple sex partners in the last 90 days (including gay and bisexual men, transgender or gender non-conforming individuals) and any person receiving HIV PrEP treatment. It is not recommended for the general public.
The vaccine is given as a two-dose series 28 days apart, and the CDC recommends getting both doses of JYNNEOS vaccine. To find out how to get the vaccine, call the DHEC Care Line (855) 472-3432, or use the DHEC web chat for making public health clinic appointments.