Photo: Kelly Wilkinson ~ USA TODAY NETWORK
ROYAL OAK, January 25, 2023 ~ US health officials are considering a plan that would make an annual COVID-19 booster available, eliminating the necessity for Americans to keep track of how many boosters they’ve received or how much time has elapsed since their last shot.
The plan, which was put forth earlier this week by the Food and Drug Administration, is based on a belief that previous vaccinations and infections have given Americans enough preexisting immunity to be sufficiently protected by a once every 12 months shot.
This as Americans are becoming increasingly apathetic towards COVID-19 boosters. While 80% of US citizens have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 16% of those eligible have taken the booster that was approved for use back in August.
January 25, 2023 ~ Dr. Matthew Sims, head of infectious disease research for Corewell Health, talks to Paul W. about the FDA‘s plan for a yearly COVID-19 vaccine.
(CONTINUED) Corwell Health Head of Infectious Disease Research Dr. Matthew Sims told 760 WJR’s Paul W. Smith that there are pluses and minuses to what the FDA is considering.
“It puts us on a schedule, kind of like the flu shot … and if you time it with flu shots … then people should have their highest protection through the winter season … when other things might be there that are going to make things potentially worse.”
“The minus is, COVID is not a seasonal virus the way flu is. We get it all year long, and so far, the vaccines seem to give a maximum protection of about four to six months. If we go on to a once-a-year schedule, there’s going to be about six months where we all have waning protection.”
The FDA is planning to present their proposal late this week to a panel of vaccine experts, with their advice helping to formulate potential next step recommendations for vaccine manufacturers.
If adopted, the new annual vaccine could be available to the public by the fall of 2023.
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