On Wednesday, US health experts will meet to discuss the future of the COVID-19 immunization campaign. Members of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will decide at the conference whether the fourth dose of the vaccine should be valid for all North Americans and whether the vaccination will be administered annually, as it is with the flu vaccine (influenza).
It’s worth noting that the FDA approved the fourth dosage of the covid-19 vaccination for all adults aged 50 and up, regardless of comorbidity, just last week.
Future of the vaccination strategy
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will address whether Covid-19 vaccine booster doses will be required in the future, as well as the process for selecting variant-specific boosters and whether the Covid-19 vaccine will become an annual shot.
The FDA vaccine advisory conference is meant to assist build a “general framework” that will help determine when Covid-19 booster doses are needed and when vaccine formulations should be updated to target specific coronavirus strains, according to the FDA.
“As we prepare for future needs to address COVID-19, prevention in the form of vaccines remains our best defense against the disease and any potentially severe consequences,” says Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
“Now is the time to discuss the need for future boosters as we aim to move forward safely, with COVID-19 becoming a virus like others such as influenza that we prepare for, protect against, and treat,” Marks adds.
“Bringing together our panel of expert scientific external advisors in an open, transparent discussion about booster vaccination is an important step to gain insight, input and expert advice as we begin to formulate the best regulatory strategy to address COVID-19 and virus variants going forward.”
Will the reinforcement of covid be annual, like the flu?
To further comprehend the impending immunization efforts against Covid-19, consider how governments deal with the flu: by administering vaccinations on a year-round basis. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, suggests this method.
“We don’t know this as a fact, but it could be that we may need an intermittent boost on a yearly basis until we get this level so low down,” explains Fauci during an interview with CNN.
To achieve this goal, it is possible that a new vaccine will be needed every year, “in the same way that we adjust flu shots”, he points out.
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