A committee working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to meet at some point this week regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and ongoing recommendations for the foreseeable future.
This coming Thursday, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting will hold a meeting to speak about the various steps when speaking about COVID-19 vaccinations.
As part of a briefing document for the meeting, the FDA stated that it has hopes for the committee that it will think about a number of items, including forcing the immunization schedule to be easier by giving immunocompromised people, specific kids, and older people two shots, but only one to other people. It also wants the panel to think about making a system for vaccination recommendations akin to the way the flu shot is handled each year.
The document made sure to highlight that the rollout of the mRNA bivalent booster shots “has been associated with significant implementation complexities,” adding that due to this and bits of other available information, “a move to a single vaccine composition for primary and booster vaccinations should be considered.”
Most people could end up only needing a single shot to end up protected for a period of time, due to what is known about previous exposure to the virus and vaccination, explained the document. It also stated that young people who might not have been exposed to COVID-19, as well as a number of older people and those sporting immune systems that are compromised, might just need to have two shots.
It also highlighted that the agency currently is slated to carry out a full review of “SARS-CoV-2 strains” at least every year and to ask of the panel when each and every year in June about “strain selection for the fall season.” After that point, a recommendation for the composition of the vaccine would be picked and then synthesized to be ready by the following fall — “no later than September of each calendar year.”
The numbers seem to mean that the booster shots for COVID-19 were not very popular throughout last year.
A report from the outlet Morning Consult from this past December highlighted that 53% of American adults were reaching out to get booster shots in the coming year, but that it was a drop of close to 5% since another poll from September. Additionally, 47% of all vaccinated American adults who did not go out to get a booster in the fall stated that they were not going to be going out seeking this new bivalent booster.
The most recent data put out by the CDC has shown that just 15.3% of the population of the United States has gotten the bivalent booster dose.