(Bloomberg) -- The US Food and Drug Administration advised vaccine manufacturers to develop Covid-19 boosters tailored to the currently circulating omicron variants for new shots that could be ready as soon as this fall.

The decision follows an advisory committee vote this week to recommend updating the vaccine boosters in response to the evolving characteristics of the virus that causes Covid. It paves the way for manufacturers like Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and Novavax Inc., once authorized, to incorporate omicron-specific elements into their booster doses.

“As we move into the fall and winter, it is critical that we have safe and effective vaccine boosters that can provide protection against circulating and emerging variants to prevent the most severe consequences of Covid-19,” Peter Marks, director of the FDA center that oversees vaccines, said in a statement on the agency’s website.

The FDA hasn’t recommended changing the composition of the primary vaccine series, which “provides a base of protection against serious outcomes” from Covid, the agency said. Drugmakers have already reported data on trials from vaccines tailored to the omicron BA.1 variant, and the agency said it will ask for trials of shots designed to provide immunity against BA.4/5 as well.

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