Advertisement

U.S. FDA proposes shift to annual COVID shot for healthy adults

Click to play video: 'XBB.1.5 variant cases projected to make up 7% of COVID-19 cases by mid-January in Canada: Tam'
XBB.1.5 variant cases projected to make up 7% of COVID-19 cases by mid-January in Canada: Tam
Speaking at a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) briefing in Ottawa on Friday, chief officer of health Theresa Tam discussed the projected increase of the XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant to seven per cent by mid-January, up from 2.5 per cent of new COVID-19 infections in the week of Dec. 25, 2022 to Jan. 2, 2023 – Jan 20, 2023

The U.S. health regulator on Monday proposed the use of one dose of the latest updated COVID-19 shot annually for healthy adults, similar to the influenza immunization campaign, as it aims to simplify the country’s current COVID-vaccine strategy.

The Food and Drug Administration’s proposal was outlined in its briefing documents ahead of a meeting of its panel of external advisers on Thursday.

It has also asked the panel to consider the usage of two COVID vaccine shots a year for some young children, and in older adults and persons with compromised immunity.

The regulator also sought its advisers’ views on the need for routine selection of variants for updating the vaccine, similar to the way strains for flu vaccines are changed annually.

Story continues below advertisement

The agency’s proposal was on expected lines, following its announcement of its intention for the update last month.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.
Receive the latest medical news and health information delivered to you every Sunday.

Get weekly health news

Receive the latest medical news and health information delivered to you every Sunday.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

The Biden administration has also been planning for a campaign of vaccine boosters every fall season.

The agency expects that simplifying the COVID vaccine composition and annual immunization schedules may contribute to less complicated vaccine deployment, fewer vaccine administration errors and less complex communication, which could potentially lead to improved vaccine coverage rates.

Currently, most people in the United States need to first get two doses of the original COVID vaccine spaced 3-4 weeks apart, depending on the vaccine, followed by a booster a few months later.

If the panel votes in favor of the proposal, Pfizer Inc’s and Moderna Inc’s bivalent vaccines, which target both the Omicron and the original variants, would be used for all COVID vaccine doses, and not just as boosters.

The FDA’s proposal follows the European regulator’s backing last month for the use of bivalent COVID shots for primary vaccination.’

(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bogoch on new COVID booster recommendations'
Dr. Bogoch on new COVID booster recommendations

Sponsored content

AdChoices