Updated mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Targeted for Recent Subvariants

The Food and Drug Administration approved the updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Sept. 11. These updated vaccines currently target circulating subvariants including XBB.1.5, EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, as well as BA.2.86, and provide improved protection against severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Sept. 12, which issued recommendations about vaccination administration, dosing and scheduling. The final recommendation is that everyone six months of age and older should receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall, ensuring it has been at least two months since receipt of the last COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Additional vaccination guidelines include:

  • Individuals six months – four years:
    • Complete a multi-dose initial series (two doses of Moderna or three doses of Pfizer) with at least one dose of the updated 2023-2024 vaccine.
    • If the initial series is already complete, 2023-2024 vaccine can be issued at least two months after receipt of last COVID-19 vaccine dose.
  • Individuals five years of age and older:
    • Regardless of prior vaccination, receive one dose of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after receipt of last COVID-19 vaccine dose.
  • Individuals who are moderate or severely immunocompromised:
    • Complete a three-dose initial series with at least one dose of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Individuals may receive one or more additional COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Additional details are forthcoming and will be provided in CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations.

Per the CDC, COVID-19 and flu vaccines may be coadministered, which may be an effective strategy to ensure broad vaccination coverage for all eligible Michiganders.

The U.S. Government ended distribution of COVID-19 vaccines through the current ordering system Sept. 12.

Updated vaccines can now be ordered:

Please note that Bivalent mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States. It is recommended providers remove all bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from storage units and dispose of them immediately, in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

More information can be found in the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services press release or by visiting the CDC website.

Members with questions may contact Kelsey Ostergren at the MHA.