The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a simplified approach to the COVID-19 vaccination strategy, similar to the yearly influenza immunization campaign.
The Food and Drug Administration is considering a shift in the COVID-19 vaccine strategy, proposing a single dose every fall for healthy adults, similar to yearly influenza shots. It proposed two doses of the vaccine annually to young children, senior citizens, or those with compromised immune systems. The FDA said the approach would simplify the vaccination strategy across the nation.
The FDA also proposed to make all vaccines in bivalent shots, which will provide protection against the original and the Omicron variants. The process—similar to that followed by the flu vaccines—will begin every spring when the FDA selects the COVID strain in circulation for the vaccine. The shots will be rolled out every September. The proposal comes as cases of new Omicron subvariant, named XBB.1.5, have surged and now account for about 43% of cases in America. The revised proposal comes as booster doses have become a hard sell.
What happens now? The proposal comes before the FDA’s meeting of independent vaccine experts on Thursday. The panel of experts will vote on the proposal. On the same day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to provide an update on its review of the Pfizer omicron booster, which some reports say has increased the risk of a stroke in senior people.