An updated COVID-19 shot was approved for use Tuesday, opening up the availability of better protection against infection ahead of the winter season.
An influential advisory panel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the updated vaccines for people 6 months of age and older.
The agency’s director signed the decision later Tuesday, clearing the way for the new vaccines to become available as early as this week.
The latest vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech target the latest variants of the virus.
The Food and Drug Administration approved it on Monday. The FDA says people who have received a COVID-19 shot in the past two months will need to wait to get the updated vaccine.
The COVID-19 public health emergency in the US ended earlier this year, but the pandemic continues. CDC report The number of people hospitalized due to the virus has increased by 8% in the past week. Deaths from the virus are also up 2% from last week, according to the CDC.
While health officials are warning about the rising numbers, they also note that Americans are more prepared to deal with COVID-19. In fact, a Study released earlier this year shows that 96% of Americans have some type of protection from the virus, either from vaccination or past infection.