Statement from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on CDC’s Recommendation of An Updated COVID-19 Vaccine

Updated COVID-19 shots are expected to protect against the currently circulating Omicron variant, with our nation likely on a path where the majority of Americans without significant health risks can be protected against serious illness, hospitalization, and death by getting an annual shot

In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendation of an updated COVID-19 shot, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the statement below after signing a directive to ensure the vaccine is widely available. CDC’s recommendation followed the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) authorization.

Studies have routinely shown that COVID-19 vaccines lower the risk of getting infected with COVID, lower the risk of spreading the virus to loved ones, and improve protections against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. People ages 12 years or older with at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine, should get the updated COVID shot which is available now. Those 12 years or older who had COVID-19 in the last 3 months may want to wait. But if it’s been longer than 3 months since having COVID-19 — get the updated vaccines right away.

“COVID-19 vaccines have brought us through the worst of the pandemic – saving millions of lives, keeping countless people out of the hospital, and providing peace of mind for the country. As fall approaches and people spend more time indoors, I encourage everyone who is eligible to get this free updated COVID vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones, just as they would get an annual flu vaccine. We now have another opportunity to get ahead of this pandemic and we will continue working every day to get everyone protected from COVID-19,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

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