Here’s What We Know About Bivalent Omicron-Containing COVID-19 Vaccines
by: The Beat Asia
January 17, 2023
In the wake of China’s decision to end its zero-COVID-19 policy, travel restrictions were imposed on various countries, including South Korea and Japan. As a precaution against the spread of infectious diseases, these restrictions have been enforced in anticipation of the arrival of tourists from the mainland.
On Jan. 11, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an updated report about the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster dose approved by the Drug Control Authority in December 2022.
“The bivalent COVID-19 vaccines include a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID-19 and a component of the omicron variant to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant,” the release read.
The two-strain mRNA booster shots target the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of COVID-19 and the original strain, lowering the chance of severe COVID-19 by up to 57%, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report via the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in Minneapolis on Dec. 17, 2022. Moreover, the bivalent shots are more effective for adults aged 18 to 49 years old.
Referred to as the “updated” COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, the bivalent vaccine is an FDA-authorized formulation of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to use as a single booster dose.
The common side effects of receiving a bivalent booster dose are pain or tenderness at the injection site, as well as fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.
A single booster dose is eligible depending on a person’s age, date of primary vaccine completion, and recent booster dose received.
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