US: FDA proposes once-a-year Covid shots as part of a major shift in the nation’s vaccine strategy

In an effort to streamline the nation’s Covid-vaccine approach, the US health authority suggested on Monday (January 23) that healthy adults receive one dose of the most recent updated COVID-19 shot each year, similar to the influenza vaccination campaign.

The US Food and Drug Administration also recommended that its panel coming from external experts explore administering two doses of the Covid vaccine annually to selected young children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. In briefing documents sent before to a meeting of its panel on Thursday, the regulator advocated the necessity of routine selection of variations for upgrading the vaccine, comparable to how strains for flu vaccinations are altered yearly (January 26).

“We need to do something different, because right now it’s confusing. The messaging has been very, very mixed and confused about how important the vaccine is,” said Dr. Bruce Farber, an infectious disease physician and chief of public health and epidemiology at Northwell Health who spoke to Reuters. “One consistent unified message with a standard schedule I think would make a lot of sense,” she added.

The FDA thinks that yearly immunisation schedules would help make vaccine deployment less difficult and result in fewer vaccine delivery errors and higher vaccination coverage rates. After announcing its plan to revise last month, the agency’s proposal was in line with expectations.

Additionally, the Biden administration has been conducting a booster vaccination programme each fall.

Currently, the majority of people in the United States must receive the initial Covid vaccination in two doses, at least three to four weeks apart from one another, and then a booster dose a few months later.

(With inputs from agencies)

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