FDA Proposes Shift to Annual COVID-19 Vaccine Shots in the US

HEALTHCARE

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed that COVID-19 vaccinations more like the flu shot every year. On Monday, January 23, 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States announced a simplified plan for future vaccination efforts that would enable the majority of adults and children to receive a vaccine once per year to protect them from the virus’s mutating.

Americans would no longer be required to keep track of the number of shots they have received or the number of months since their last booster.

The idea comes at a time when supporters have become difficult to find. Even though more than 80% of people in the United States have received at least one dose of the vaccine, only 16% of those who are eligible have received the most recent boosters that were approved in August.

At a meeting on Thursday, the FDA will ask its panel of outside vaccine experts to weigh in. When deciding on future vaccine requirements for manufacturers, the agency is expected to take their recommendations into consideration.

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According to FDA scientists, many Americans now have sufficient pre-existing immunity against the coronavirus due to vaccination, infection, or a combination of the two, according to online documents.

The agency asserts that this foundational level of protection should be sufficient to transition to an annual booster against the most recent strains currently in circulation and to make COVID-19 vaccinations more comparable to the annual flu shot.

A two-dose combination may be required to protect adults and very young children with weak immune systems. To determine who should receive a single shot instead of a series of two, scientists from the FDA and vaccine manufacturers would examine vaccination rates, infection rates, and other data.