June 2022 COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

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In June of 2022, it’s now been over two and a half years since the discovery of COVID-19, so what’s the situation now? Between steadily decreasing case numbers, an expanding lineup of approved vaccines, and the possibility of an Omicron-specific booster shot, things are looking up for sure. Read on below for an update on everything related to the COVID-19 vaccine in June 2022.

Vaccination statistics

As of June 11, 67.3% of US citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 47% of vaccinated individuals have received a booster shot. Additionally, almost 83% of individuals have received at least one shot of the vaccine, which has been shown to provide some degree of protection against the virus.

The Novovax vaccine

Last Wednesday, advisors to the FDA approved the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for use in the U.S. This vaccine has already been approved by over 40 other countries, including Canada and the U.K. The Novovax vaccine works by directly injecting a viral antigen spike protein to trigger the immune system’s response against COVID-19.

Why is this important if there are already three other vaccines available? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA-based, which is a method that’s never been used on humans before, and the same goes for the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus vaccine. Naturally, that’s created a hesitation to receive the vaccine for some people, and the hope is that the more traditional creation of the Novavax vaccine will encourage the previously hesitant to become vaccinated.

A possible future Omicron booster shot

In other vaccine news, Moderna recently announced that it will be looking for authorization for a new COVID-19 vaccine created to protect against the Omicron variant. Spokespeople from Moderna have said that this new vaccine shows a “superior neutralizing antibody response” compared to previous vaccines.

Yearly booster shots

One thing that’s been discussed since the vaccines were first developed is the possibility of a yearly booster shot for COVID-19, similar to the flu shot. Moderna has also spoken on this topic, saying that people who get booster shots will have protection that is more durable over time when compared to the initial vaccination.

Whether or not this yearly booster shot happens is partially dependent on the success of Moderna’s Omicron-specific booster. If it shows to provide increased protection for a year or longer, a yearly booster shot may be a good option.

Current case numbers

So with all that said, what are case numbers like right now? As of June 8, 2022, the 7-day average of daily new cases stands just under 110,000. As the highest week of infection had cases at nearly a million per day, this shows a great decline in the infection rate of the virus.

Much of this decrease in infection may be due to increased vaccination rates, as well as levels of natural immunity that many people have developed from contracting COVID-19. Whatever is to thank for the change, it’s in turn decreasing hospitalization and death numbers.

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