Houston physicians answers questions on new 'retooled' COVID booster shot pending FDA approval

Thursday, September 1, 2022
Doctors answer questions on newly updated vaccines soon available
Dr. Luis Ostroksy, Chief of Infectious Diseases at UTHealth said that this vaccine has been approved for a wide range of people.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Just in time for the fall, a new version of the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to the public, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Since the original vaccine, this shot marks the first retooled COVID vaccine formula available in the United States.

RELATED: US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days

The new booster targets the main omicron variant BA.5

ABC13 asked some of Houston's top doctors about the new booster, as the positivity rate in the city remains at about 20%.

Who can receive the new booster?

Dr. Luis Ostrosky, chief of Infectious Diseases at UTHealth and Memorial Hermann, says this vaccine is approved for many people.

"The FDA has authorized the boosters for 18 years and over for Moderna and 12 years and older for Pfizer," Ostrosky said. "They recommend it be given at least two months after your last primary series of vaccination or last booster."

SEE ALSO: Pfizer asks FDA to authorize updated COVID vaccine adding protection from Omicron variants

Dr. Ostrosky also says mixing and matching the approved COVID vaccines is OK.

Can you receive the COVID booster and flu shot at the same time?

While doctors recommend getting the shots in two separate arms, they say you can get them during the same appointment.

"So you actually don't have to wait. You don't need to separate the flu shot and a COVID-19 booster. You can get both on the same day if you want. So if you only have one chance to take off work, or only one chance to go to the pharmacy to get it done, you can do them both on the same day," said Dr. Wesley Long, the medical director of Microbiology at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Will a COVID booster become an annual vaccine?

Both doctors said the same thing: 'Yes.'

"We're probably going to be doing yearly boosters in the early fall, considering the variants that are in circulation. So I think that's a good plan rather than boosting every few months," Dr. Ostrosky said.

The new COVID shots are expected to be available shortly after Labor Day.

RELATED: COVID is not done with us': Why is the BA.5 COVID-19 variant so contagious?

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