The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in September 2023 that everyone aged 6 months and older should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine. The updated vaccine is designed to protect against the Omicron variant and other emerging variants.
The CDC has recommended that the updated vaccine be called the “2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine” or simply the “updated COVID-19 vaccine.” This is to help distinguish the new vaccine from the original COVID-19 vaccine series.
“Bye-bye, booster. We are no longer giving boosters, and it’s going to be very difficult to stop using that word because that word has become pervasive,” a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s committee of vaccine advisers, Dr. Keipp Talbot said, according to CBS News on Friday, September 15, 2023.
“We are beginning to think of COVID like influenza. Influenza changes each year, and we give a new vaccine for each year. We don’t ‘boost’ each year,” said Talbot.
“It’s going to be difficult to start changing that terminology, but it is no longer a booster. It is now the current vaccine for the year,” Talbot added.
“To clarify, these vaccines would not be considered ‘boosters’ per se. These vaccines, as previously announced, would be updated with a new formulation for the 2023-2024 fall and winter seasons,” an FDA spokesperson said.
Doctors and health departments are now working on updating their records and systems to reflect the new name of the vaccine. They are also working on educating the public about the new vaccine and its importance.
Here are some of the reasons why it is important to distinguish the new COVID-19 vaccine from the original vaccine series:
The new vaccine is designed to protect against the Omicron variant and other emerging variants, which the original vaccine series may not be as effective against.
The new vaccine is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older, even those who have already received the original vaccine series.
The new vaccine is safe and effective, and it is important for everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
Here are some things that doctors and health departments are doing to get used to calling this year’s newly recommended shots the “2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine” or simply the “updated COVID-19 vaccine”:
Updating their websites and educational materials
Training their staff on the new vaccine
Partnering with community organizations to spread the word about the new vaccine
Offering the new vaccine at convenient locations, such as doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and community centers
The CDC is also working to make sure that the new vaccine is affordable and accessible to everyone. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans, and the government will provide free vaccines to people who do not have insurance.
If you have any questions about the new COVID-19 vaccine, please talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider.