SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Fall is approaching, and so could the new COVID booster shot.
Pfizer has submitted the new booster for approval to the Food and Drug Administration, aimed more at the general population with the hopes of lessening the effects of another potential surge.
“It has the original strain of the vaccine and booster and it has one that’s omicron specific so you basically get two vaccinations if you would for one shot,” said Doctor Esteban DelPilar, an Attending Physician, Infectious Diseases at Baystate Medical Center. He said this booster shot adds onto the existing the vaccine, with the capability to better address Omicron.
With human trials starting and tests on mice showing promising results, it could come out this fall, which could mean you could get both your COVID booster and flu shot at the same time.
“The mRNA vaccines, it’s much easier, cheaper, and quicker to create these vaccines in a safe way for patients,” said Doctor DelPilar. “That could simplify things quite a bit. And there’s some data that they’re looking at doing something similar to the flu vaccines.”
Currently the most recent COVID booster up for grabs is geared towards people 50 and up and some people who are immunocompromised. Doctor DelPilar said if you’re eligible for that booster and considering whether to wait until the new booster comes out, you should weigh your risk factors.
“If I was a heart transplant patient that has a lot of family and I like spending time with my family, I might get my booster now and when the other one comes out in the fall, I might get the other one,” he said. “More vaccines is not harmful. You’re just going to get more antibodies so the more the better.”
Doctor DelPilar added if you have questions about the COVID vaccine, you should reach out to your doctor.