VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A new COVID-19 vaccine is in the works to fight the highly contagious omicron variant.
According to ABC News, the Biden Administration plans to roll out the latest dose this fall. The White House is expected to distribute the new vaccine doses in September as part of a $5 billion effort to slow down the spread of the latest COVID variant.
With the pending omicron-targeted vaccine, should people eligible for the current versions of the booster shot wait or get them now?
“The CDC, nor the FDA, has issued any official guidance to go ahead and wait,” said Dr. Brooke Rossheim, Public Health Physician Specialist in the Office of Epidemiology for Virginia Department of Health.
Dr. Rossheim said he adheres to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC, everyone 5 years old and up can get one booster. Immunocompromised and people 50 and up can get two booster doses.
“COVID is still circulating here in Virginia Beach. So, that does mean if you are eligible and you have not yet taken advantage of the vaccine, now is still a great time to do that,” said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, Virginia Beach Health District Director.
Dr. Pedati said the COVID-19 vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself from the virus. She encourages people to go ahead and get whatever dose they are eligible for, even if changes could be on the way.
“Even if that ends up being the case, it’s really important that you start taking advantage of that preventative tool as soon as you can,” she said.
And what if a person received one version of the vaccine, but the latest dose is made by another company?
“Whichever vaccine is available near you, is the best one to pick,” said Dr. Pedati.
Emphasizing only a guess, Dr. Rossheim said he suspects the pending doses will likely gear toward a wide range of audience.
“They are probably going to be geared toward a wide part of the population. But again, I do not have any hard data to base that on,” said Dr. Rossheim.
Federal regulators would still need to sign off on the new vaccines.
There are 3,900 new reported cases of COVID-19 in Virginia Friday, according to numbers from the VDH.