"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

New COVID vaccines can be available in September

August 14, 2023 – CDC says latest version of COVID-19 vaccine can be available in late September.

The updated vaccine still needs final approval from the FDA and CDC.

“We expect they will be available to most people by the third or fourth week of September,” said director Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, at a Podcast last week moderated by former White House COVID adviser Andy Slavitt. “We'll probably look at this as a recommendation for an annual COVID vaccination, just like we have an annual flu shot. I think that will give people more clarity on whether or not they should get vaccinated.”

For people now considering whether to get the currently available COVID vaccine or wait until the brand new one comes out, Cohen said it depends upon the person's individual risk. People who're 65 or older or have multiple medical conditions should get the currently available shot if it has been greater than 6 to eight months since their last dose. For everyone else, it's OK to attend for the new edition.

“If you have any questions, talk to your doctor,” she said.

Analysts expect low demand for the updated vaccine. About 240 million people within the U.S. received a minimum of one dose when the vaccines first became available in 2021. Reuters reported, but that number dropped to fewer than 50 million who received the most recent vaccination in fall 2022.

“Look at what happened last winter. In the US, it was 50 million, and it seems it's even less considering there are fewer concerns about COVID this year than last year,” Michael Yee, a healthcare industry analyst at Jefferies, told Reuters.

Cohen noted through the podcast that the recent increase in viral activity have to be seen in context.

“What we're seeing now in August 2023 is a small increase in COVID cases. We still have one of the lowest hospitalization numbers in the last three years,” she said. “Even a 10% increase in a very, very small number is still very small. I continue to not be very concerned.”

She said people should concentrate on their very own risk level and the chance of those around them, and use the tools that help protect everyone and are proven to assist reduce the chance of hospitalization. For example, families visiting at-risk grandparents could give a baby who's feeling mildly ailing a fast COVID test, simply to make certain the kid doesn't have COVID.

“Fortunately, we are currently seeing that the viruses are still resistant to our vaccines and drugs and are still being detected by the tests,” Cohen said. “So all of our tools are still working.”