COVID-19 vaccine
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday issued a new guidance recommending booster shots for all vaccinated people 18 and older, Bloomberg News reported.

The guidance, which previously said adults “may” get boosters, now says they “should” get a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer shot six months after their second dose. The same recommendation applies to those who received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine but after only two months.

The directive comes amid the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Rochelle Walensky, head of the CDC, said early data from South Africa suggest that the Omicron variant has increased the transmissibility of the virus and that scientists are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to the mutation.

Pfizer partner BioNTech SE, Moderna and J&J are working to adapt their vaccines to address the omicron variant.

Walensky also said that the emergence of omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters and other measures to protect against the virus. She also encouraged people to get a COVID test if they are sick.

Earlier on Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that three doses of the company’s coronavirus vaccine would remain effective even against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, and added that a new vaccine specifically made to combat the new strain could be ready in 100 days.

In an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell, Bourla said that his company's drug to treat the coronavirus would also remain effective against the and that Pfizer would significantly increase its production target for the pills.

President Joe Biden said on Monday that the newly discovered Omicron variant “is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”

“We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we're learning more every single day. And we'll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion. We have more tools today to fight the variant than we've ever had before,” he added.

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