Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D. Board Chair, American Medical Association

The following statement is attributable to :Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D. Board Chair, American Medical Association:

“Given that the BA.5 Omicron subvariant is responsible for the majority of COVID-19 infections currently circulating throughout the U.S., we welcome today’s recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) supporting a bivalent booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines—targeting the BA.4/BA.5 Omicron subvariants as well as the original variant. ACIP’s recommendations, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization on Wednesday, will allow individuals 12 years and older to receive a booster dose of Pfizer’s bivalent vaccine and anyone 18 years and older to receive a booster dose of Moderna’s bivalent vaccine at least two months after completing their primary vaccine series or their most recent booster. The bivalent booster recommendation replaces previous booster recommendations with a monovalent booster dose for people ages 12 years and older.

“With COVID-19 infections continuing to impact the U.S. population and an increase in infections expected this fall and winter, data shows that the updated bivalent vaccines will increase immune response and help provide protection against severe COVID-19 outcomes including hospitalization and death. Vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection wanes over time and vaccine booster doses have been shown to increase protection. With the highly transmissible Omicron variant continuing to evolve, broad update of a bivalent booster dose will help provide an additional layer of protection and could prevent more than 100,000 hospitalizations compared to a later roll-out.

“We continue to strongly urge everyone to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including recommended booster doses, to protect themselves and their loved ones from severe complications, hospitalization, and death. Anyone with questions about the vaccines should speak with their physician and review trusted resources, including getvaccineanswers.org.”