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Experts advise those eligible for 2nd booster shot go get it now, not wait for new ones to be released in fall

The Biden Administration purchased more than 100 million of Pfizer's new, reformulated COVID-19 vaccine and 66 million doses of Moderna's new booster.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Just a few months ago, the FDA and the CDC decided to approve a second booster shot for anyone over 50 and for anyone over 12 who is immunocompromised. 

So when will everyone under 50 be eligible?

With some new and improved boosters already expected to come out in early September, it's creating some confusion over whether the age group should get the old doses or the new ones when they're made available. 

Dr. Thomas Russo, UB Chief of Infectious Diseases, says if you're eligible, don't wait. 

"You're at increased risk for developing severe disease, hospitalizations and bad outcomes. Getting those booster shots for which you're eligible will forge significant protection immediately. There is no reason to wait," Russo said. 

Additionally, Russo says those who get the booster now will be able to get the new booster in four months. 

He says the reason the Biden administration is probably holding off on supplying the boosters for those under 50 is because usually the goal for them is to prevent infection and transmission.

So they can afford to wait, whereas older age groups and those immunocompromised can't because they could end up in the hospital or die from COVID.  

Then it's also about the timing of it all. 

"Since we anticipate an increased number of cases during the winter respiratory season, which begins sometimes after Halloween, it was felt best, go ahead and wait. Get this better shot on board as opposed to having people wait until we're in the middle of that anticipated surge," Russo said.  

It's also about the resources. 

Last month, the President and Vice President purchased more than 100 million of Pfizer's new, reformulated COVID vaccine booster for $3.2 billion.

And now, they secured 66 million doses of Moderna for more than $1.7 billion.

The new booster shots are expected to provide better protection against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. 

Russo says only about 50% of Americans got their first booster shot. 

That's while only about 30% of those eligible have had their second booster. 

The Erie County Department of Health is also recommending that anyone who is eligible, go get boosted. 

   

 

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