Covid-19 booster vaccineOn September 11, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new coronavirus vaccine designed to counter an expected increase in Covid, flu, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) before winter arrives.

Flu shots and RSV immunizations for infants and adults 60 and older are already available.

The shots, which target an omicron subvariant and were cleared for everyone six months and older, are manufactured by Moderna and by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech. The new vaccine is monovalent, aimed at omicron variant XBB.1.5.

If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off, injections could be available in pharmacies, clinics and doctor’s offices by the end of the week. However, some members of the agency’s outside experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, might recommend a focus on older Americans or people with weakened immune systems or other illnesses.

Who should get the new coronavirus vaccine shots and when

If approved, the shots will be free for those with private health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, and the Biden administration also is working to make the shots available to people who lack insurance.

Cases of Covid-19 remain lower than in previous upticks. New hospital admissions reached 17,000 for the week ending Aug. 26, compared to almost 37,000 for the same period a year ago, according to the CDC, and there were 658 deaths that week compared to nearly 3,000 the same week in 2022.