NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Just as we get the flu shot every year, the COVID-19 vaccine could be soon added to the list of annual recommended vaccines. Health experts will be weighing options this week.
FDA officials said it would make it easier on people's schedules so they're not having to keep track of their last booster.
Now almost three years since the pandemic began, more than 80% of the U.S. has had at least one vaccine dose and only 16% of those eligible have received the latest boosters. Here in Tennessee, 58% of people have received one dose of the shot and only 5% have gotten the booster.
FDA scientists said most now have “sufficient preexisting immunity” against COVID-19 because of vaccination, infection or a combination of the two. They said that the baseline of protection should be enough to move to an annual booster against the latest strains in circulation.
The FDA is meeting with outside vaccine experts on Thursday to discuss. Under FDA’s proposal, the agency, independent experts and manufacturers would decide annually on which strains to target by the early summer, allowing several months to produce and launch updated shots before the fall. That’s roughly the same approach long used to select the strains for the annual flu shot.