The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next few weeks will authorize second bivalent (two-strain) COVID vaccine boosters for the highest risk groups, officials with knowledge of the plans told the Washington Post.
The boosters will be authorized for people who are at least 65 years old or have weakened immune systems and given at least 4 months after the first bivalent booster. FDA officials told the post that the policy change will be "permissive" rather than a formal recommendation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to endorse the FDA's action, but it's not clear if its vaccine advisory group will meet to discuss the issue.
In January, the FDA's vaccine advisory committee proposed a plan for annual COVID boosters in the fall for the majority of people, which would involve an updated version of the vaccine. However, given waning protection from mRNA vaccination, there has been some concern that such a plan could leave vulnerable groups with little protection until then. Some countries, including the United Kingdom, have already rolled out second bivalent booster doses for the highest risk groups.