FDA greenlights new omicron Covid vaccine booster

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized updated Covid-19 vaccine booster shots from Moderna and Pfizer to help combat the omicron variant.

"I think boosting it with a more omicron-specific vaccine will help," said Dr. Matthew Sims of Beaumont Health.

Some Michiganders who spoke to FOX 2, agree.

"If the CDC approves it, I’m going to take it," said Alan Getshel of West Bloomfield.

"I had some family members who got (Covid) so I want to protect myself," said Marveline Muirhead of Farmington Hills.

But Dr. Sims wonders if the updated booster shots which contain a new vaccine should be given in two doses instead of just one as a booster.

"My thoughts are, to get the full response, like you got from the original vaccine, you’re going to need that second dose of it," he said. "But they’re putting it out there as only a booster."

The Pfizer booster shot is authorized for ages 12 and older, but the Moderna updated vaccine is approved for people 18 and up.

"I'm hoping that a more omicron-specific vaccine will give you even more protection against the serious issues, but also give you better protection against actual infection," Sims said.

But doctors understand some still have not received the initial Covid vaccine due to hesitancy.

"Being a Black person, we shouldn’t be afraid of this," said Muirhead. "We should try to protect ourselves."

Many doctors including Sims, say Covid is not going away and vaccines and boosters are the best defense.

"We’re not getting rid of Covid unfortunately at this point, it’s too contagious," Sims said.

Now that the FDA has provided emergency use authorization, the booster shots have to get approval from the Centers for Disease Control which is expected by Thursday. Once that likely happens, the new booster shots could be available next week.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told FOX 2 that the state has been allocated up to nearly 190,000 Pfizer doses and 73,000 Moderna doses initially with more doses ready to be ordered.

"We need to get it closer to being what a flu shot is, right?" Sims said. "As the virus changes we change the vaccine."