(NEXSTAR) – If you go to your local pharmacy or vaccination center, you’ll find a new type of Covid-19 vaccine these days. It’s a dual booster shot, meaning it contains the original Covid-19 variant components and the dominant Omicron variant in 2022.
The new formula is designed to give you better protection than the current strain of the coronavirus, but does that mean a new strain of vaccine will feel different?
“The side effects from the bivalent booster[in clinical trials]were very similar to what we saw with standard boosters and even going back to the first vaccine,” said Andrew Pekosz, a virologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. , in a recent media statement. “Usually redness at the injection site, mild soreness, feeling tired for a day or two – all the same side effects we’re seeing compared to the bivalent booster.
Other common side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine in adults — whether it’s the modified formula or not — include headache, fever, chills and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most common side effects in children are slightly different. Children from 6 months to 3 years often experience pain at the injection site, but also swollen lymph nodes, irritability, insomnia or loss of appetite.
Children aged 4 to 17 years, side effects are similar to those seen in adults. Side effects in this age group are more likely to occur after the second dose, the CDC says.
The CDC says side effects are usually mild and go away within a day or two.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two Covid-19 boosters. The Moderna shot is available for adults, while the Pfizer shot is available for people 12 and older.
It is difficult to say how much more these boosters will protect us from the virus than the final version, because the tests of this exact recipe on humans have just begun.
of The FDA has cleared the new incentives. A similarly modified vaccine recommended by regulators in Europe is based on human studies. Those modified shots target the previous Omicron strain, BA.1, which was released last summer and studies have shown to regenerate antibodies that fight the virus in humans.
With that earlier version of Omicron, now replaced by the BA.4 and BA.5, the FDA ordered further modifications to the ointments – and tests on mice showed that they produced an equally good immune response.
There is no way to know if antibodies generated by micron-linked boosters will last more than a few months. But boosters strengthen the memory of the immune system, which helps protect against serious illness from the ever-changing virus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.