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


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’ve received before.

The agency’s proposal was outlined in a briefing document posted online Monday.

Currently, everyone 6 months and older must complete the primary vaccination. Series — at least two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax vaccine or a single. Dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — before they receive a booster dose. Two months later.

The FDA is proposing to skip that initial series, which means most unvaccinated people can go ahead. And get the last booster shot if they decide to get a Covid vaccine.

Some groups will still be advised to receive two doses. According to the briefing document. This includes older adults, immunocompromised individuals. And children 2 years of age and younger.

The FDA’s proposal would greatly simplify the U.S. Covid vaccination. Schedule — aligning it more closely. With the annual flu shot, experts say.

In another analogy to the flu shot, the FDA is considering whether the Covid. Based on which 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 initial series should be changed to the updated bivalent formula used. In the new booster shots. The shots, approved in the fall, protect against the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

In addition to the original strain of the coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The vaccines used in the initial series targeted only the original strain.

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

Multiple formulations and vaccination schedules can complicate vaccine administration.

As Durbin noted, some patients said they had trouble finding pharmacies that still carried. The original formulation of the vaccines — meaning. They were unable to get their initial series.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease expert at the University of Toronto. Said the FDA’s proposal to move away from the initial series is “reasonable,” noting that most people. Have some form of immunity from prior Covid infections even if they don’t. Still vaccinated.

. “You might get better reception if you say, ‘Listen, here’s a booster. Here’s a shot.’

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