Coronavirus: FDA asks panel to ok plan for annual COVID-19 booster shots

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing that adults get a yearly shot of the latest COVID-19 vaccine, the agency announced Monday.

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The agency asked its panel of external advisers – the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) – to consider retiring the original vaccines and using the bivalent vaccine approved last fall for primary and booster shots, according to briefing documents published on Monday.

The FDA will ask VRBPAC to consider a once-a-year vaccine for healthy adults and two COVID-19 vaccines a year for young children, those with compromised immunity and older adults.

According to the briefing document, the FDA proposed that the vaccine be routinely updated to allow for changing variants of the virus.

Currently, a person needs to first get two doses of the original COVID-19 vaccine spaced at least three to four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine, before they can get a booster dose several months later.

About 40 percent of adults aged 65 and older have received the latest Covid booster shot. Around 16 percent of those 5 and older have gotten the shot.

If the external panel OKs the FDA plan, the bivalent vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna would be used for all COVID vaccine doses and booster shots, Reuter’s reported.

The bivalent vaccines target both the original omicron virus and its variants.

The panel is scheduled to meet on Thursday.

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