For the past several months, many people have been weighing the pros and cons of getting their second booster shots – or in some cases, their first – right away versus waiting for the long-promised omicron-tailored booster shots. That wait is nearly over: The FDA’s authorization yesterday of the new bivalent formulation clears the way for shots to begin going into arms in a matter of hours or days, pending the CDC’s endorsement. Understandably, people have lots of questions.

Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti are immunologists at the University of South Carolina who have been closely following COVID-19 vaccine development and how the immune system responds to infections and vaccines. They explain the research basis behind the FDA’s authorization and reflect on just how well the updated shots might fare in the face of a wily, unpredictably evolving virus.

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Amanda Mascarelli

Senior Health and Medicine Editor

In a matter of days, eligible people will be lining up to receive the newly formulated booster shot. filadendron/E+ via Getty Images

Will omicron-specific booster shots be effective at combating COVID-19? 5 questions answered

Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina; Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina

The FDA’s authorization of the reformulated COVID-19 booster shots represents a major step in the effort to get more Americans boosted.

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