FDA could greenlight new COVID boosters as early as Friday

The shots could become available next week, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also signs off.

FILE - A Jackson, Miss., resident receives a Pfizer booster shot from a nurse at a vaccination site Feb. 8, 2022. The Biden administration hopes to make getting a COVID-19 booster as routine as going in for the yearly flu shot. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File) (Rogelio V. Solis, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Food and Drug Administration plans to greenlight updated versions of the Covid booster as early as Friday, according to four people familiar with the agency’s plans.

The latest shots are designed to target the XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant. Though this particular strain is no longer dominant, the boosters should still provide protection against current circulating subvariants, which are closely related, the drugmakers and experts say.

The Friday timeline for authorization is not firm and could slide into early next week, two of the sources said.

That could prompt further criticism from some doctors who say that federal health agencies are acting too slowly in the booster rollout as Covid cases and hospitalizations are once again rising.

Read the full report from NBC News.