The United States might need to update its Covid-19 vaccines each year, according to a trio of top US Food and Drug Administration officials, and “a new normal” may include an annual Covid-19 vaccine alongside a seasonal flu shot.
“Widespread vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, combined with the availability of effective therapeutics, could blunt the effects of future outbreaks. Nonetheless, it is time to accept that the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the new normal. It will likely circulate globally for the foreseeable future, taking its place alongside other common respiratory viruses such as influenza. And it likely will require similar annual consideration for vaccine composition updates,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research; Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock; and new FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf wrote in a paper published in the medical journal JAMA on Monday.
“During the 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine planning and selection process, it is important to recognize that the fall season will present a major opportunity to improve COVID-19 vaccination coverage with the goal of minimizing future societal disruption and saving lives,” they wrote. “With the plan for implementation of this year’s vaccine selection process, society is moving toward a new normal that may well include annual COVID-19 vaccination alongside seasonal influenza vaccination.”
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