A new COVID-19 vaccine is set for a September release as cases of the new virus variant “Eris” rise nationwide, according to Reuters (subscription).
What’s going on: “Some public health experts hope that Americans will welcome the new shot as they would a flu jab. But demand for the vaccine has dropped sharply since 2021 when it first became available and more than 240 million people in the U.S., or 73% of the population, received at least one shot.”
- Health care providers and pharmacies will begin offering the updated shots—which target XBB.1.5, “a sub-lineage of the still dominant Omicron variant”—in the second half of next month.
- The new vaccines still need authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why it’s important: Though the COVID-19 public health emergency ended in May and the private sector has taken on “much of the duty of vaccinating America,” virus-related hospitalizations are up 40% from June’s lows.
- “CDC Director Mandy Cohen said last week in a podcast that … Americans should view these shots as an annual measure to protect oneself, in line with the annual flu shot.”