Sun, 26 Mar 2023

US proposes shift to annual COVID-19 vaccine shots

Robert Besser
27 Jan 2023, 06:32 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: As part of its efforts to simplify the national COVID-19 vaccine strategy, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed one dose of the latest COVID-19 shot every year for healthy adults, similar to the influenza immunization strategy.

The FDA also asked its panel of external advisers to consider recommending two COVID-19 vaccine shots annually for some young children, older adults and persons with compromised immunities.

In briefing documents, the FDA suggested the need for routinely selecting variants for updating the vaccine, similar to the method used to create annual flu vaccines.

According to the regulator, less complicated vaccine deployment and fewer vaccine administration errors will lead to higher vaccine coverage.

The Biden administration is also planning for an autumn vaccine booster campaign.

If the FDA approves the proposal, Pfizer's and Moderna's bivalent vaccines, which were developed to combat both the Omicron and original variants, will be used for all COVID-19 vaccine shots, including boosters.

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