Be Ready for Updated mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

You’ll hear buzz about 2023-2024 COVID-19 that most people will need one.

Both mRNA vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech) are now monovalent...covering the Omicron XBB.1.5 SARS-CoV-2 variant.

Expect clinicians to explain that these vaccines are also effective against circulating variants, including EG.5.1 (“Eris”) and BA.2.86 (“Pirola”)...and that bivalent vaccines should no longer be used.

And they’ll reinforce that COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool we have to reduce risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Be aware, any age-appropriate 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine can be used for everyone 6 months and older without contraindication. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are authorized down to age 6 months.

It’s 1 dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine for people 5 years and older...regardless of prior vaccination.

For kids under 5 years or people who are immunocompromised, the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses varies based on immune status and prior vaccination. At least 1 dose should be the 2023-2024 vaccine.

Keep in mind that there should be an interval of about 2 months after a bivalent vaccine...or about 3 months after a recent COVID-19 infection...before the 2023-2024 vaccine is given.

Watch for vaccine preparation changes. For example, all Pfizer doses are now 0.3 mL...and only the pediatric formulation will require dilution.

Stay tuned...FDA is evaluating an updated Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

And anticipate that experts will continue to monitor COVID-19 variants and vaccine efficacy to update recommendations and vaccines...the timing of COVID-19 season is still evolving.

Use our resource, COVID-19 Vaccines, to learn about differences and similarities between products.

Key References

  • CDC. Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States. September 15, 2023. (Accessed September 18, 2023).
  • FDA. FDA Takes Action on Updated mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines to Better Protect Against Currently Circulating Variants. September 11, 2023. (Accessed September 13, 2023).
  • Wallace M. Evidence to Recommendations Framework: 2023-2024 (monovalent, XBB containing) COVID-19 vaccine. September 12, 2023. (Accessed September 13, 2023).
  • Medication pricing by Elsevier, accessed September 2023.
Hospital Pharmacy Technician's Letter. October 2023, No. 391001

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