US to Approve 2nd Vaccine Booster
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – The US Food and Drug Administration is poised to authorize a second Covid-19 vaccine booster for anyone 50 years and above amid concerns that a new Omicron subvariant could hit the US.
The authorizations for second Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna boosters could be announced as soon as next Tuesday, according to US media reports.
On Mar.26, Hawaii became the last US state to remove the indoor masking requirement as the Omicron surge recedes. The state also suspended its Safe Travels program, allowing travelers from the continental US to enter without submitting proof of vaccination or the results of an approved Covid-19 test.
While Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted or eased in most parts of the country, health officials in Washington are cautiously monitoring the behavior of Omicron BA.2 sub-variant, the more contagious cousin of the Omicron variant that has spread through Europe and other parts of the world, which now represents about 30 per cent of new infections in the Mid-Atlantic region that includes the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
“Public health experts say BA.2 will likely become the dominant strain in the Washington region over the next several weeks,” reported The Washington Post, “driving another uptick in new infections after a steady decline since the peak of the Omicron surge in early January.” On Friday, the region’s weekly average for new cases was 1,131, the lowest rate since Jul.