Updated COVID vaccines are now FDA and CDC approved and available soon in the US!


TL;DR: Everyone older than 6 months is eligible for the updated COVID19 vaccine. The new vaccine targets the most common circulating variants and should be available later this week.

–On Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna and Pfizer’s monovalent COVID vaccines updated to target the XBB.1.5 variant. This means that The FDA is confident in the safety and effectiveness of these updated vaccines. The Novavax vaccine is still under FDA review, but the company is hoping for approval within a matter of weeks.

On Tuesday the US CDC formally recommended the updated vaccines following a meeting and vote from their Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The CDC guidance is quite simple—everyone aged 6 months and over is recommended to get the updated shot (if it has been at least two months since your last COVID vaccine).

The FDA provided more specific guidance on dosing by age:

➡️ Everyone 5 years and older can receive a single dose of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of previous COVID vaccination status.

➡️ Children 6 months-4 years of age previously vaccinated can receive one or two doses of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (timing and number of doses depends on the previous COVID-19 vaccine received—speak to your clinician).

➡️ Children 6 months-4 years of age who are unvaccinated can receive 3 doses of the updated Pfizer vaccine or 2 doses of the updated Moderna vaccine.

❓ Why was the recommendation universal rather than targeted to the highest risk groups?

There was some debate about this in the media the last few days, but Those Nerdy Girls agree with the universal recommendation. First, the safety record of the vaccine is excellent—this is likely the most monitored vaccine in human history. Vaccination has been shown to reduce illness and hospitalizations across all ages, even though older adults are still at the highest risk. Vaccination can also reduce the risk of Long Covid. Vaccination will likely protect against any infection for at least 2-3 months, meaning fewer acute infections and transmission to others. Finally, universal recommendations are clear and avoid causing confusion for vulnerable people who need the vaccine the most.

❓Will the vaccine still be free? Most people can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. Most insurance plans will fully cover the COVID-19 vaccine. People without health insurance should be able get a free vaccine from their local health centers/departments and pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program also may receive the vaccine from a provider enrolled in that program.

❓What if I’ve had a recent COVID-19 infection? It’s best to wait a bit for your updated booster. While there is no harm in getting the vaccine soon after infection, you probably won’t get additional protection because your immunity is still very high from your infection (like you’ve hit the antibody ceiling and can’t go any higher!). Waiting at least 3 months after your infection (and up to 6 if you are lower risk) for your updated shot can stretch out that protection for a longer period.

While the official guidance says you can get the updated shot if it’s been at least two months since your last vaccine, we’d also recommend at least 3 months and up to a 6 month interval if you were recently vaccinated.

For everyone else not within a few months of their most recent COVID vaccine or infection… go get it! The updated vaccine looks good at neutralizing current circulating variants (including EG.5, FL 1.5.1 & BA.2.86), meaning more protection against any infection.

Stay Safe, Stay Well.


Those Nerdy Girls