FDA panel votes to move to one form of COVID vaccine
BOSTON – An FDA panel voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend annual COVID boosters to people just like the yearly flu shot.
They say that because many Americans now have sufficient pre-existing immunity, either from vaccination, previous infection, or both, the approach would be similar to how we handle the flu vaccine.
That would mean updating the shots each year based on the circulating strains at the time.
The agency also wants to make things less confusing for providers, pharmacies, and patients by transitioning to a single vaccine composition rather than different formulations for the primary series and boosters.
More than 80% of the U.S. population has had at least one COVID vaccine dose, but less than 20% of those eligible have received the latest boosters that were authorized in August.
Most people will just need one, but some groups, such as high-risk older adults, people with weakened immune systems, and young children may need more than one a year.
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