The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that all adults aged 18 and older receive COVID-19 booster shots as the country prepares for the potential impact of the newest variant of the virus.
The CDC is recommending the booster shots at least six months after a patient has received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine and two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
This comes after the CDC and FDA approved vaccines for children as young as 5 years old and as the CDC warned about the potential threats of the newest confirmed variant of the virus, named Omicron.
"Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a news release. "I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to vaccinate the children and teens in their families as well because strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness. I also want to encourage people to get a COVID-19 test if they are sick. Increased testing will help us identify Omicron quickly."
On Tuesday, the White House's COVID-19 team addressed concerns over the new variant and said that they are working with vaccine manufacturers and public health organizations to develop "contingency plans" in anticipation of the impact of the variant, which was confirmed to be in the U.S. on Wednesday.