As the months go by, it becomes increasingly apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly coming to an end. Taking safety precautions has been essential in the progress we’ve made – washing our hands, keeping our distance, and wearing masks. Plus, vaccines also played a crucial role. However, although things are indeed improving, there is still a long way to go.
Today, we bring you some news related to vaccines. In the U.S., a new booster vaccine targeting both the original COVID strain and Omicron sub-variants has been approved. Moreover, in China, an inhaled COVID vaccine was recently approved as well.
New COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters in the U.S
Bivalent Vaccines: What’s New
The new bivalent vaccine is more efficient than past vaccines. Bivalent vaccines cause cells to produce antibodies that then bind to certain parts of the COVID virus’ spike proteins. The bivalent vaccine protects against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, as well as against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subtypes.
Why Are Updated COVID Vaccines Necessary?
Vaccines against Covid-19 needed to be updated.
Why? Well, Coronavirus has undergone various mutations since 2020. These changes have allowed it to bypass antibodies. So, vaccines against earlier versions of the virus became less efficient. As a result, new COVID variants are better at causing reinfections than their predecessors. Plus, common illness symptoms have changed as well.
The updated vaccines are designed to be more effective at combating the latest mutations of the Omicron variant (BA.4 and BA.5), in particular.
Who Should Get a COVID Booster?
After completing their primary vaccination, US citizens and residents aged 12 and older should receive new booster vaccines.
According to the experts, everyone needs a booster, as previous vaccine protection declines significantly over time, in all age groups.
Where Can You Get an Updated COVID-19 Booster?
Millions of vaccines are now being shipped across the US.
You can find them at:
- Community health centers
- Health departments
In fact, major chains like CVS and Walgreens have begun offering the new vaccines. Both chains are scheduling appointments online and slots will be added as they get new vaccine shipments.
Health authorities expect appointment availability to increase over the next few days. If you’re based in the US, you can learn more about vaccination availability on Vaccines.gov
Now let’s look at what’s happening with COVID vaccines in China.
China Approves Inhaled COVID Vaccines
China has become the first country to approve a new inhaled COVID vaccine.
The new COVID vaccine is manufactured by CanSino. Its name is Convencia Air and according to the company, it provides good protection after just one inhalation.
As trials suggested that CanSino’s inhaled vaccine increased protection for recipients who had already been vaccinated, the National Medical Products Administration approved its use as a booster dose.
Furthermore, Nasal spray vaccines are also being investigated by teams from the United Kingdom and the United States. Scientists say these vaccines (in the form of mist-like sprays) can provide enhanced immunity in the lining of the nose and upper airways, where COVID usually enters the body.
Scientists from all around the world have been working to contain the pandemic, since its very beginning. And now, they’re deepening their research to prevent future outbreaks.
You can also help put an end to the pandemic. Wash your hands frequently and wear a face mask in crowded places. And if you are going to travel, adventurer, don’t forget to get tested. Let’s keep working together to make COVID a thing of the past
Planning your next trip? Find COVID testing locations near you with our international directory.