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When could the next COVID-19 booster be available in the Midlands?

The CDC gave final approval of the newest COVID booster on Thursday paving the way for protection against the omicron variant.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new COVID-19 booster is specifically designed for the latest variants. The new booster, with versions from Moderna and Pfizer, was given emergency use authorization by federal regulators this week and received the final approval from the CDC on Thursday.

The Moderna booster is approved for people 18-years-old and older, while the Pfizer booster will be for people 12 and up. 

What makes these boosters new is the make up of their serum. According to Dr. Helmut Albrecht, an infectious diseases expert with Prisma Health, this new vaccine includes protection from both the original and recent variants.

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"They have not only the old strain that used to always be in the vaccine but also the newest strain which we are seeing essentially in 100% of cases currently."

So, how long until you could get your shot? 

"We expect the updated COVID-19 boosters to be available at vaccine providers around the state late next week," Dr. Brannon Traxler, a DHEC Public Health Director, said in a statement. 

A vaccine provider locator can be found here.

Albrecht says that the shots should be available anywhere that has previously given COVID-19 vaccine shots. This includes doctors offices, vaccine sites, and pharmacies.

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He adds that with the ability to adapt a vaccine quickly, the new boosters bode well for the future of disease prevention.

"Now, we at least have a technology that we can switch to follow that virus variation almost as quickly as these new variants come out."

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