Coronavirus Vaccine

Pfizer says tweaked COVID-19 shots boost omicron protection

Pfizer says tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and boosts protection. Saturday's announcement comes just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall. The current COVID-19 vaccines still offer strong protection against hospitalization and death. But protection against infection has dropped markedly with the omicron variant, and now its even more transmissible relatives are spreading. Pfizer says either an omicron-targeted booster or a combination shot that mixes the original vaccine with omicron protection substantially increases protection. Rival Moderna hopes to offer a similar combination shot.

Shots for tots: COVID vaccinations start for little US kids

The nation’s youngest children are getting their chance at vaccines for COVID-19. Shots began Monday at a few locations, though they were expected to ramp up after the Juneteenth federal holiday. The Food and Drug Administration cleared vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer last week and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final signoff over the weekend.  Roughly 18 million youngsters under 5 are eligible. For the little kids, Pfizer’s vaccine is three shots and Moderna’s is two shots. Getting some parents on board may be a challenge given disappointing vaccination rates in school-age kids.

US opens COVID vaccine to little kids; shots begin this week

U.S. health officials have opened COVID-19 vaccines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers — the last group without the shots. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the decision Saturday, hours after an advisory panel voted unanimously that coronavirus vaccines should made available to children as young as 6 months. The Biden administration has been gearing up for the start of the shots early this week. Millions of doses have been ordered for distribution to doctors, hospitals and community health clinics around the country.

FDA advisers move COVID-19 shots closer for kids under 5

COVID-19 shots for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the U.S. have moved a step closer. An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration gave a thumbs-up Wednesday to vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer for children under 5. It's the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination against the coronavirus and many parents have been anxiously waiting to protect their little children. If the FDA authorizes the shots, there's one more review at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After all the regulatory hurdles are cleared, the shots should be available early next week at doctor’s offices, hospitals and pharmacies.

Moderna says updated COVID shot boosts omicron protection

Moderna says its experimental COVID-19 vaccine that combines its original shot with protection against the omicron variant appears to work. COVID-19 vaccine makers are studying updated boosters that might be offered in the fall. Moderna says its combination booster candidate increased omicron-fighting antibodies more than just giving another dose of the original. Today's vaccines still offer strong protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and death but protection against milder infections wanes especially as the virus continues to mutate. Health authorities are considering whether to order a change in the vaccine recipe. Moderna announced its preliminary study results Wednesday.

FDA advisers back Novavax COVID shots as 4th US option

A more traditional kind of COVID-19 vaccine is a step closer to becoming the fourth option for U.S. adults. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted Tuesday to recommend authorization of shots made by Novavax. It's a protein vaccine, a more conventional technology than the dominant Pfizer and Moderna shots, and the lesser-used Johnson & Johnson option. It the FDA ultimately agrees, the Novavax shots could be an option for adults who haven't yet gotten vaccinated. The company eventually hopes to offer its shots as a booster, like they're used in some other countries.