(RxWiki News) The pandemic is more than two years old, and it's still going strong. Here's what you need to know.
The total number cases of COVID-19 recorded in the US continues to climb. As of publication time, US health officials had recorded 94,487,185 cases of COVID-19.
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized two bivalent vaccines to be given as booster shots.
These two vaccines are:
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent
Both of these are now authorized to be given as a single booster dose at least two months after you have either completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
In regards to age, the boosters are authorized for those 12 years and older (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent) and for those ages 18 years and older (Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent).
We saw a big spike in COVID-19 cases this past January which was due to the Omicron variant.
According to the FDA, the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 are causing the most cases of COVID-19 in the country. It is predicted these variants will continue to circulate this fall and winter.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BA.5 accounts for over 88 percent of new Covid cases in the country.
The total number of US deaths from COVID-19 was under the 1 million mark at 987,034 back in April of this year. By September, we have crossed the 1 million mark. Currently the total number of US deaths is 1,041,816.
On a brighter note, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 79.2 percent of people in the US who were at least 5 years old had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Health officials continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for most people.
A good reason to consider the newly authorized "bivalent" vaccines which are also referred to as “updated boosters?"
These formulated vaccines are expected to offer better protection against the Omicron subvariants because they include the original virus strain plus a component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.
Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions.