The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on July 29 has agreed to purchase 66 million doses of Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster candidate for potential use this fall and winter.
The announcement comes after the government purchased 105 million bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses from Pfizer in late June. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended June 28 that vaccine manufacturers create bivalent boosters that can target BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, which today make up nearly 95 percent of daily COVID-19 cases.
HHS awaits authorization from FDA, as well as a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to receive the first deliveries of both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine booster doses in early fall.
“We look forward to receiving these new variant-specific vaccines and working with state and local health care partners to make the vaccines available for free in communities around the country this fall,” said HHS Assistant Secretary Dawn O’Connell, who leads the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.
CDC Says Vaccine Reactions Less Frequent After Fourth Dose
The CDC reported July 29 in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that individuals ages 50 and older who received a second dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine booster experienced less frequent injection site and systemic reactions compared with after the first booster dose. The report also stated that, of the 8,515 events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, 95 percent were nonserious.
The report comes after approximately 16.8 million people in the United States received a fourth dose of the vaccine between March 29 and July 10.
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Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.