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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended that all Americans 6 months and older receive at least one dose of the latest Covid shots, the latest in a trifecta of vaccines aimed at preventing another surge in respiratory infections this year. autumn and winter.

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The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the reformulated Covid vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. On Tuesday, CDC scientific advisers reviewed the data and voted to recommend the shots. Large pharmacies will likely have the new vaccines available later this week.

Vaccines against influenza and respiratory syncytial virus are now available on shelves. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, and the RSV vaccine is recommended for everyone 60 years and older, in consultation with a healthcare provider.

At a meeting on Tuesday, some CDC advisers said they were unsure about recommending the new Covid vaccines for younger adults, or had concerns about possible side effects, especially in boys and young men.

Others worried that supporting vaccines for all Americans could undermine messages about the greatest need among those most at risk of contracting Covid, including older adults.

But the committee ultimately voted to back the new vaccines for everyone, citing data showing the short- and long-term risks of Covid at any age.

“It is clear that vaccination will prevent serious illness and death in all age groups,” said Dr. Beth Bell, a professor of global health at the University of Washington.

The panel made recommendations only regarding the updated Covid vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The timing and number of recommended doses vary depending on age and previous vaccinations, but most Americans should get at least one shot, scientists said.

The guidelines will be expanded to include another Novavax vaccine and any others authorized by the FDA in the coming months. That shot may serve as a suitable alternative for people who cannot receive mRNA vaccines like those from Pfizer and Moderna.

“I hope this will facilitate the availability of the Novavax vaccine once it has been reviewed, reviewed and potentially authorized by the FDA,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax told the CDC panel on Tuesday that they would charge between $120 and $130 per dose for the new Covid vaccines. But vaccines will be available at no cost to most Americans through December 2024, through private insurers and a new federal program for the uninsured.

For some Americans, vaccines can’t come soon enough. Hospital admissions and deaths associated with Covid have increased steadily since July, although the figures remain low compared to the same period in other recent years.

Many others now see Covid only as a mild threat. Less than half of adults age 65 and older, and about one in five American adults overall, opted for the bivalent booster vaccine offered last fall. (The new shots replace the bivalent booster, which should no longer be used, the CDC said.)

The most vulnerable Americans — older adults, immunocompromised people and pregnant women — should get both the Covid vaccine and the flu vaccine, experts said. Adults 65 and older accounted for up to 85 percent of flu-related deaths in recent years, according to the CDC.

And Covid hospitalizations among adults aged 75 and older “are consistently two to three times higher than those of the next youngest age group,” which is between 65 and 74 years old, according to data presented by Dr. Fiona Havers, who directs the CDC’s surveillance programs. for hospitalizations associated with respiratory diseases.

Most of those hospitalized adults had multiple underlying conditions, Dr. Havers said. Hospitalization rates, an indicator of serious illness, are highest among American Indians, Alaska Natives and African Americans.

“African Americans, even from younger ages, have a higher incidence of underlying conditions that would lead to greater adverse events in terms of hospitalization, ICU and death,” said Dr. Oliver Brooks, chief medical officer at Watts HealthCare Corporation in Los Angeles and a CDC Advisor: “Vaccine is definitely needed.”

The new vaccines are designed to attack the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant, which was the dominant virus earlier this year when health officials were forced to decide on the composition of an upcoming fall vaccine.

XBB.1.5 now accounts for only 3 percent of cases, but more than 90 percent of circulating variants are its close relatives. The new vaccines appear to be effective against all of them, according to data presented at Tuesday’s meeting.

As with the flu vaccine, the greatest benefits of Covid immunization may accrue to those most at risk. Still, the shots can help even those at reduced risk recover faster after an infection or miss fewer days of work, said Dr. Ashish Jha, former White House Covid coordinator.

People with so-called hybrid immunity (both infection and immunization) have the strongest protection. But immunity of all types wanes over time, according to data presented at the meeting.

Most children and adults hospitalized with Covid since January 2023 had not received the most recent booster vaccine, Dr. Havers reported.

Even among relatively young and healthy people, Covid poses serious health risks, including long-term effects on the heart and other organs that can emerge and re-emerge months or years after the initial illness, said Sharon Saydah, a researcher at the CDC, to the scientific journal. panel.

Dr. Saydah presented preliminary estimates from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey that suggest the highest prevalence of post-Covid symptoms is among adults ages 35 to 49: 9 percent reported health problems for at least three months after the first acute illness.

The percentage of those reporting ongoing symptoms decreases over time and is lower with the Omicron variant than with previous versions of the virus.

British authorities are offering the new Covid vaccines only to those at high risk, including older adults, people with chronic medical conditions and frontline workers. That decision was not based on calculations about who would benefit most, but on the prohibitive costs for the British government to offer the vaccines to everyone, according to Dr. Jha.

For people who can’t or don’t want to make multiple trips to a clinic or pharmacy to space out flu and Covid vaccines, experts recommended getting vaccinated together. Still, if possible, it might be wise to time the shots to provide maximum protection, some experts said.

The flu usually peaks in February, Dr. Jha said: “In general, I have recommended older people wait until October, just so they still have a lot more protection. “You don’t want to get to Halloween and not have taken it, but sometime in October is pretty reasonable.”

Last year, Dr. Jha, 52, opted to get vaccinated against Covid and the flu at the same time. “I have one on each arm,” he said. “My arms were a little sore for 24 hours, but I was fine.”

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