CDC recommends new Covid booster vaccine for every American over the age of SIX MONTHS this fall – to curb rising infection rates

Health chiefs today recommended the new variant-busting Covid booster for virtually every American.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging every adult and child over the age of six months to take the new vaccine, which has been designed to target newer versions of the Omicron variant.

The agency’s independent panel of experts voted 13-1 to recommend the shots Tuesday, with the agency’s director Dr Mandy Cohen saying the updated jabs would ‘better protect you and your loved ones’.

Health officials are hoping to top-up immunity levels nationwide ahead of the winter as Covid rates rise nationwide for the first time this year — though top experts expect it to be another mild wave.

The new jabs — designed to boost protection against newer variants — have been deemed safe for every American over the age of six months, just like earlier vaccinations

The Advisory Committe on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, recommended the shots for virtually every American today.

The CDC’s director still needs to sign off on the recommendation but when she does the vaccines will be available in pharmacies within 48 hours.

Today’s recommendation means that the cost of the shots will be covered by public and private health insurance plans.  

The recommendation comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said the shots were safe for use in everyone from the age of six months and over.

Announcing the expert committee’s recommendation, Dr Mandy Cohen said: ‘We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from Covid.

‘CDC is now recommending updated Covid vaccination for everyone six months and older to better protect you and your loved ones.’

The newest shots — made by Pfizer and Moderna — target an Omicron variant named XBB.1.5, which was dominant in the US over the summer months but has now largely dwindled.

Still, it’s close enough to coronavirus strains causing most Covid illnesses today that the FDA yesterday determined it would offer good cross-protection.

Early tests show that it is also effective in protecting against BA.2.86, which has triggered fears of a fresh Covid wave.

There are also promising signs it will work against the EG.5 Covid variant, which is currently dominant in the US.

Out of the 14 experts on ACIP, only one — Dr Pablo Sanchez, a pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio — voted against the move.

He told CNN: ‘I just want to be clear that I am not against this vaccine. The limited data that are available does look great.

‘[But] we have extremely limited data on children… and I think that needs to be made available… to parents.’

Other experts, however, said this would unnecessarily limit access to the updated Covid vaccine.

Dr Sandra Fryhofer, who represented the American Medical Association at the meeting, said: ‘There is no group that clearly has no risk from Covid.

‘And even children and adults with no underlying conditions can still experience severe illness due to Covid.’