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FDA/CDC okay new COVID XBB shot for fall of 2023

Novel Coronavirus SARS CoV.2
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Novel Coronavirus SARS CoV.2

On September 11, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new COVID-19 vaccine targeted specifically to a variant known as XBB 1.5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed suit on September 12.

This happened at a time when national and state governments have declared that the COVID health emergency has passed. However, COVID is still in the top five causes of death in the U.S. And in the most recent week available, hospitalizations from COVID were up about 9 percent, deaths were up by more than 10 percent and test positivity in some states was 20 percent or more.

What's causing the latest COVID uptick? Will the new XBB vaccine also be effective against other rapidly emerging strains? Who is the most susceptible to COVID and when should they get the new shot? How long will the new COVID shot be effective? Will older tests and treatments still work against the latest disease variants? What will COVID look like this fall and winter?

KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper talked with primary care expert Dr. Jesse Bracamonte at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to find out the answers to these and other questions.

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government. In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams. She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin. She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.