US CDC recommends updated Covid vaccine for children six months and older, ET HealthWorld

US CDC recommends updated Covid vaccine for children six months and older, ET HealthWorld


By Mariam Sunny and Christy Santhosh

LONDON: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that individuals aged six months and above should be given the updated Covid-19 vaccine for the 2024-25 vaccination campaign, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated for the disease previously or not.

The agency's recommendation Thursday matches those of its panel of outside experts, who voted unanimously to recommend the use of updated COVID-19 vaccines authorized or approved by the FDA in children six months and older.

The recommendation will go into effect as soon as new vaccines from Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer become available later this year, the CDC said.

The US Food and Drug Administration earlier this month asked vaccine makers to update new vaccines to target the KP.2 variant, if possible, rather than the JN.1 lineage that was previously tried to target.

Moderna and Novavax have submitted their applications to the FDA to update their shots for the fall 2024 season targeting the JN.1 strain.

Novavax said it intends to make its updated vaccine available at the start of the vaccination season after receiving FDA authorization, and said its shot has shown broad cross-neutralizing antibodies against multiple variants, including KP.2 and KP.3.

Pfizer and Moderna make messenger RNA vaccines, which can be developed more quickly than Novavax's protein-based vaccine.

The JN.1 variant was the most commonly detected variant in the United States earlier this year. Though it is no longer as prevalent, it is estimated to have accounted for 4.4% of cases in the two-week period ending June 22, according to CDC data.

It is estimated that the KP2 strain was responsible for about 20.8% of cases, while KP3, which is now becoming dominant, was at 33.1%.

Pfizer said it is in global discussions with regulators, including the FDA, to assess the composition of future Covid vaccine formulations.

Moderna said it would be ready with updated doses in time for the autumn vaccination campaign, while Pfizer and partner BioNTech said they would be ready to supply their updated vaccines immediately after approval.

Pfizer and Moderna said they were ready to supply vaccines targeting the JN.1 or KP.2 variants. (Reporting by Christy Santosh and Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)

  • Published on June 28, 2024 at 02:28 PM IST

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