ABC reports that health officials in the United States want to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like the annual flu shot. On January 23, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a new vaccination effort that would allow most adults and children to get a once-a-year COVID shot.
ABC points out that this means people in the U.S. would no longer have to keep track of how many shots they’ve received or when they last got boosted. According to ABC, the proposal comes as over 80% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while just 16% have received the latest booster.
On January 26, the FDA will refer to a panel of outside vaccine experts to weigh the new proposal. According to FDA scientists, many Americans now have “sufficient preexisting immunity” because of vaccination, infection or a combination of the two.
Scientists at the FDA and vaccine companies suggest that further study could be done to decide who should receive a single shot and who requires a two-dose series. The FDA plan also includes streamlining the process by switching all vaccines to target the same strains, thus eliminating the current complicated system.
The proposal also includes a similar approach to the annual flu shot by having the agency, independent experts and manufacturers select which strains to target annually. The FDA has expressed that the move to an annual schedule would also help promote future vaccination campaigns and boost nationwide vaccination rates