The CDC and FDA now recommend the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA bivalent COVID-19 vaccines be used for all vaccinations in the US.
Following Tuesday’s US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made significant changes to their COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
The biggest update is that both the FDA and CDC now recommend the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA bivalent mRNA vaccines (original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains) be used for all future vaccinations in the US. This means both agencies are officially moving away from the original, monovalent COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC now recommends:
Immunocompromised individuals may be eligible to receive additional doses of a bivalent vaccine, even if they have already. Persons with comorbidities or who are otherwise immunocompromised should consult with a health care provider to determine their need and ensure they are able to mount an adequate immune response to vaccination.
The new regulations were announced tonight, April 19, after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to discuss these changes to their COVID-19 vaccine recommendation.
Most individuals who already received a single dose of the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster are not yet eligible for another dose, unless they are immunocompromised or 65 years and older. The FDA will likely announce future vaccination recommendations after determining fall’s vaccine strain composition in their June advisory meeting.
For individuals unable to receive an updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, alternative options are still available. The CDC’s recommendation of the (monovalent) Novavax or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines were not affected today’s decision.