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The new COVID vaccine and Eris subvariant

A new COVID-19 vaccine is on its way; revised formulations from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Monday, Sept. 11, 2023.

The recommendation released Tuesday, Sept. 12 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends updated COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans six months of age and older. Children six months through four years of age, who may be getting their vaccines for the first time, should get two doses of a Moderna vaccine and three doses of a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, with at least one of the doses being an updated 2023 shot.

To be up-to-date, those with low immune function should have had at least three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with at least one of those doses being the new shot. They also have the option to get an additional updated vaccine later in the year.

COVID hospital admission level is still low in the Charlotte area but COVID infections are on the rise. Thankfully, most Americans have some form of immunity, either due to being vaccinated and boosted, or by getting infected.

There is a new COVID strain called EG.5, nicknamed for Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord. Eris does seem to be more transmissible than the previous omicron variant. As with omicron, there has been much less lower respiratory tract disease seen with Eris, which is still presenting predominantly with upper respiratory tract symptoms, including very sore throat and nasal congestion. Those who are immunocompromised and the elderly are still at greater risk for the virus traveling to the lower respiratory tract.