FDA proposes simplifying the Covid vaccine schedule, making it similar to the flu shot


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  6 days ago  •  10 comments

By:   Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

FDA proposes simplifying the Covid vaccine schedule, making it similar to the flu shot
FDA advisers will meet on Thursday to discuss simplifying how Covid vaccines are given, making the process more similar to the yearly flu shot.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Food and Drug Administration advisers will meet Thursday to discuss simplifying the Covid vaccination schedule, allowing most people to get the currently available booster, regardless of how many doses they had received before that.

The agency's proposal was outlined in briefing documents posted online Monday.

Currently, everyone ages 6 months and older are required to complete a primary vaccination series — at least two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine— before they can get a booster dose two months later.

The FDA is proposing skipping over that primary series, meaning that most unvaccinated individuals could go ahead and get the latest booster shot if they decided to get a Covid vaccine.

Some groups, however, would still be advised to get two doses, according to the briefing documents. They include older adults, immunocompromised people and children 2 years old and younger.

The FDA's proposal, experts say, would greatly simplify the Covid vaccination schedule in the U.S. — aligning it more closely with the annual flu shot.

In another similarity to the flu shot, the FDA is considering whether the Covid vaccine should be updated at least once a year, based on what strains are in circulation.

The agency's proposals will be put before its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Thursday.

The committee will also discuss whether the primary series should be changed to the updated bivalent formula used in the new booster shots. Those shots, authorized in the fall, protect against the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, in addition to the original strain of the coronavirus that was identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The vaccines used in the primary series are only targeted to the original strain.

Dr. Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said simplifying the Covid vaccine schedule makes sense.

Multiple formulas and vaccination schedules, she said, may complicate vaccine administration for pharmacists and also may discourage people from getting vaccinated at all.

Some patients, Durbin noted, have said they've had trouble finding pharmacies that still carry the original formulation of the vaccines — meaning they were unable to get their primary series.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said the FDA's proposal moving away from the primary series is "reasonable," noting that most people have some form of immunity from a prior Covid infection even if they haven't yet been vaccinated.

"From a human behavior standpoint, people who have not received the primary series with the vaccine at this point in time are probably not going to receive it," he said. "You might get better uptake if you say, 'Listen, here's a booster. Here's one shot."


jrDiscussion - desc
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1  Greg Jones    6 days ago

"In another similarity to the flu shot, the FDA  is considering whether the Covid vaccine should be updated at least once a year, based on what strains are in circulation"

I think this a good idea, because this virus will likely mutate forever.

In addition to having had Covid in November of '20, received my 5th booster a couple weeks ago,for the Omicron variant

Other than some soreness and mild fever, side effects were tolerable.

PhD Guide
1.1  Snuffy  replied to  Greg Jones @1    6 days ago

Agreed.  I got my Omicron booster back in Sept. when I also got my flu shot.  They've been making noise for a while now that a Covid booster may be needed annually so this is the natural approach.

Professor Guide
1.1.1  evilgenius  replied to  Snuffy @1.1    6 days ago

I did the same at the local VA Clinic in October. It was a very simple in & out process.

Split Personality
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  evilgenius @1.1.1    6 days ago

CVS, both in the left arm.

Right Down the Center
Sophomore Guide
1.2  Right Down the Center  replied to  Greg Jones @1    5 days ago

I was up to speed on all four shots (at the time) and picked up covid in Aug of 22.  Two totally miserable days and a week of blah.  Not sure what would have happened if I didn't get the jabs but still glad I did.  Will continue to get them as they are offered.

Professor Principal
2  Kavika     6 days ago

Good idea and I got mine in Oct.

Professor Principal
3  Ender    6 days ago

I hate to say it but I haven't gotten the booster yet.

I figured it would come to this. It will be like the yearly flu shot (which I don't get).

PhD Guide
3.1  Snuffy  replied to  Ender @3    6 days ago

Have you had Covid?  I know the shots are not a guarantee that you won't catch the virus.  My question is more along the lines of a simple question as having gotten the initial series of shots and having had Covid before should (if I remember the article) provide sufficient immunization for you to cover the latest booster.  But I think the annual shot will be a good thing as they will prep based on the upcoming variants like they do with the flu shots now.  

I've been lucky and never caught the virus.  Sure hope that luck holds for a very long time as I hate being sick (physically.  mentally sick is ok in my book  jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif ).  

Professor Principal
3.1.1  Ender  replied to  Snuffy @3.1    6 days ago

I had the original Moderna (sp) two shots. Luckily I haven't caught it.

Knock on wood, I haven't had the flu for I know at least five years.

I hate getting sick too. Like walking around with a bad hangover for several days...

I also take in to account that as I am getting older I am not as around as many people as I use to be.   Haha

PhD Guide
3.1.2  Snuffy  replied to  Ender @3.1.1    6 days ago
I also take in to account that as I am getting older I am not as around as many people as I use to be. 



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