INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Updated COVID-19 vaccines could be coming soon. Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are all waiting for Food and Drug Administration approval on new vaccines tweaked to match the evolving virus.
The FDA will soon decide if each company has met safety, effectiveness, and quality standards. Experts say FDA approval is likely to happen within days. Then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must sign off before the updated vaccinations can begin.
A CDC advisory panel is slated to meet on Tuesday to make recommendations on how to best use the shots.
“There will be a lot of virus this winter. That’s why we want to get ahead of it,” CDC Chief Dr. Mandy Cohen told the Associated Press.
According to the Associated Press, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased since late summer but are not nearly as high as last year. The increase comes as RSV already is on the rise in parts of the Southeast.
Doctors hope enough people get vaccinated to help avert another “tripledemic” like last year when hospitals were overwhelmed with an early flu season, an onslaught of RSV, and a winter COVID-19 surge.
Scientists tell the Associated Press that the ever-evolving coronavirus isn’t going away. Similar to how flu shots are updated each year, the FDA gave COVID-19 vaccine makers a new recipe for this fall.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from earlier in the summer showed a slight increase in hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and positive COVID-19 tests. However, the numbers are not nearly as high as in past summers.
The Indiana Department of Health reported 17 COVID-19 deaths within two weeks in August. The data was collected through Tuesday, Aug. 29. The state’s dashboard is updated weekly on Wednesdays. Indiana’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 25,383 on Tuesday from 25,366 on Aug. 15.
Dr. Jerome Adams, the WISH-TV medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general, talked to News 8 about COVID testing.
“If you’re high-risk, you need to be aware. If you get symptoms, you need to seek out a test because seeking out that test can allow you to get treatments such as Paxlovid. It also means that when that new booster is available, if you haven’t been recently infected, then you need to make sure you talk to your doctor and get your questions answered and get that new booster if your doctor recommends it because you don’t want to be in a situation where you are one of the 15,000 people who last week ended up in the hospital because of COVID,” he said.
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