New COVID BA.4 / BA.5 Booster!


COVID Booster update! And an important reason why you should care. Pfizer just submitted for a Emergency Use Authorization for a bivalent booster, containing both the original spike protein and that of the BA.4 and BA.5 variants which now make up pretty much all new cases in the US. This is key, because these variants are really good at evading prior immunity, so even if you’re vaccinated and had omicron you could still be reinfected. Data from the BA.1 omicron booster that was published in June showed a 10-20x increase in neutralizing antibodies against BA.1, but much worse performance vs BA 4 and 5, so it’s expected that this new booster will perform similarly vs those variants.

Why should you care? I know we’re all tired of COVID at this point, but there’s data showing that getting reinfected is really bad. Even if it’s not a very severe infection, it can harm many organ systems, doubling your chance of dying from things like heart disease or diabetes. Getting that booster will help your body fight it off faster, before said damage can occur. And it may be available next month! Stay tuned.