What you need to know about covid boosters and the latest research

Two new studies suggest that rebooted coronavirus booster shots that were updated to match two omicron subvariants are not superior to the old boosters.

The new bivalent booster shots were rolled out in September, designed to better match the current phase of the pandemic by incorporating components from the original version of the virus and the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants.

The new studies suggest that the short-term immune responses from a new or old booster are similar. It’s disappointing that the new shots aren’t a lot better than the old ones, but scientists say it doesn’t undermine the case for getting boosted today. With a swarm of immune-evading subvariants looming on the horizon, the available boosters remain the best tool to help fortify protection, particularly against severe illness and death.