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What you need to know about the newly-approved COVID booster shots

The U.S. authorized its first updated booster shots for COVID on Wednesday.

The updated Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster shots target the omicron strain of the virus. Shots could start being administered in the coming days.

Previously, the only available booster shots were those targeting the original coronavirus strain.

Since the onset of the pandemic, multiple different strains have been detected in the U.S., including the omicron subvariants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the reformulated boosters on Wednesday, August 31.

Who is eligible for the updated COVID booster?

The Moderna COVID vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years old and up.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years old and up. 

The new vaccine booster shots are of the bivalent variety, meaning they include components of the original virus strain and the omicron variant, according to the FDA.

“The monovalent COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized or approved by the FDA and have been administered to millions of people in the United States since December 2020 contain a component from the original strain of SARS-CoV-2,” continues the FDA website.

Does the CDC recommend an additional shot?

The U.S. has purchased over 170 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, according to News10 NBC.

Before the fall booster campaign begins, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to issue its recommendation for who should receive the additional booster shot.

A CDC advisory panel is set to discuss the issue on Thursday. September 1.