Once-A-Year Covid Shot Plan In The Works By FDA

Like the flu shot, the FDA outlined a proposal Thursday that would encourage Americans to get an annual covid vaccine that’s tailored to that year’s expected dominant strains. The plan was released ahead of a vaccine advisory committee meeting at which tweaks to covid protocols will be discussed.

FDA Proposes Annual Covid Shot Matched To Current Strains

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration propose making Covid vaccination a regular, once-a-year shot that is updated to match current strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to documents posted by the FDA on Monday. For people who are older or immunocompromised, the FDA would recommend two annual doses of the revised shot. (Herper, 1/23)

FDA Lays Out Annual Covid Shot Plan Similar To Flu

The plan would have health officials meet each June to review which strains of the virus should be included in Covid shots to be deployed no later than September of the same year, according to documents released by the US Food and Drug Administration ahead of the Jan. 26 meeting. Moderna Inc. and the partnership of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE are the biggest makers of doses for the US. (Muller and Rutherford, 1/23)

The New York Times:
F.D.A. Outlines A Plan For Annual Covid Boosters 

The proposal took some scientists by surprise, including a few of the F.D.A.’s own advisers. They are scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the country’s vaccine strategy, including which doses should be offered and on what schedule. “I’m choosing to believe that they are open to advice, and that they haven’t already made up their minds as to exactly what they’re going to do,” Dr. Paul Offit, one of the advisers and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said of F.D.A. officials. (Mandavilli, 1/23)

The FDA Is Proposing A Move To Annual COVID Shots. Some Experts Worry It’s Too Soon, And Too Simple Of An Approach 

But it may be too soon to commit to annual boosters, some experts tell Fortune. The virus has not yet fully settled into a pattern of seasonality and may never. … Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, doesn’t think a “one-size-fits-all booster policy” makes sense at this point in the pandemic, he tells Fortune. (Prater, 1/23)

More on the covid vaccine rollout —

‘Died Suddenly’ Is Anti-Vaxxers’ New Favorite Phrase

Mis- and disinformation have been prevalent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but in recent months anti-vax activists and conspiracy theorists have latched on to a new phrase to help their cause: “died suddenly.” Anti-vaxxers hoping to convince people that COVID vaccines are linked to sudden deaths among younger people have invoked the term while trying to exploit tragic events like the death of soccer journalist Grant Wahl, or Damar Hamlin suffering a cardiac arrest during an NFL game. Though that theory has no scientific evidence to support it, the “died suddenly” rhetoric has gained a lot of traction on social media. What makes COVID misinformation so spreadable, and how can public health officials combat the rumors? (O’Leary, 1/23)

USA Today:
Ron DeSantis Is Courting Anti-Vax Voters. Florida Surgeon General’s Podcast Appearances Help

Days after Gov. Ron DeSantis opened his second term with a combative speech blasting federal COVID-19 policies as based “more on ideology and politics than on sound science,” Florida’s surgeon general was a guest on a podcast called Liberty Lockdown. “Isn’t it a beautiful day to be unvaccinated? It feels so good,” host Clint Russell said before starting into his conversation with Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state’s top doctor who also is a tenured faculty member at the University of Florida. (Kennedy, 1/24)

Latino Teens Are Deputized As Health Educators To Sway The Unvaccinated 

Classmates often stop Alma Gallegos as she makes her way down the bustling hallways of Theodore Roosevelt High School in southeast Fresno, California. The 17-year-old senior is frequently asked by fellow students about covid-19 testing, vaccine safety, and the value of booster shots. Alma earned her reputation as a trusted source of information through her internship as a junior community health worker. She was among 35 Fresno County students recently trained to discuss how covid vaccines help prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death, and to encourage relatives, peers, and community members to stay up to date on their shots, including boosters. (de Marco, 1/24)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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