Headline RoundupJanuary 24th, 2023

FDA Proposes Once-a-Year COVID-19 Vaccine Shot

AllSides Summary

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing a new approach to its COVID-19 immunization strategy that would turn the vaccine into an annual shot that targets the dominant strands of that year, similar to how the influenza vaccine is handled.

Key Quote: The FDA said many Americans now have “sufficient preexisting immunity” as a result of previous vaccinations and exposure to the virus. The FDA stated that “this simplification of vaccine composition should reduce complexity, decrease vaccine administration errors due to the complexity of the number of different vial presentations, and potentially increase vaccine compliance by allowing clearer communication.”

For Context: While over 80% of the U.S. population got the initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, only a fraction of that percentage have gotten the subsequent booster shots. With this proposal, the FDA aims to streamline and simplify the vaccination schedule in hopes of raising vaccination rates and public immunity. Much like the flu vaccine, an advisory board would meet annually to select a COVID-19 vaccine to match the expected dominant strains of that year. While most people will only require one annual shot under this new strategy, the FDA still recommends immunocompromised people and young children receive two doses per year.  

How The Media Covered It: The new proposal from the FDA was covered moderately across the spectrum, with outlets in general agreement that the decline in vaccine rates is the result of confusion regarding recommended dosage frequency.

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