Health officials announced Monday they want to make coronavirus booster vaccinations an annual event in America, renewing a call first made by President Joe Biden.
AP reports the push comes as latest statistics show more than 80 percent of the U.S. population has had at least one vaccine dose, while barely 16 percent of those eligible have received the latest boosters authorized in August.
Biden first urged Americans last year to get coronavirus vaccine boosters, recommending one additional annual booster shot, as Breitbart News reported.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, get one more COVID shot. Once a year. That’s it,” Biden said during a speech on his imitation White House video set.
The president got his fifth coronavirus shot live on camera, even though he contracted and recovered from the virus last July.
President Joe Biden receives his fifth COVID-19 booster from a member of the White House medical unit during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Now the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposes a simplified approach for future vaccination efforts, allowing most adults and children to get a once-a-year shot to protect against the mutating virus.
According to the AP story, the FDA will ask its panel of outside vaccine experts to weigh in at a meeting Thursday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has already flagged the possibility of coronavirus booster shots, explaining people “very well may need to get booster shots to keep up the level of protection.”
The prospect of annual booster shots was first raised back as far back as 2021 when it was flagged as “certainly possible” all Americans eventually will be advised to get a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine, as Breitbart News reported.
In the latest documents posted online, FDA scientists now say many Americans now have “sufficient preexisting immunity” against the coronavirus because of vaccination, infection or a combination of the two.
That baseline of protection reportedly should be enough to move to an annual booster against the latest strains in circulation and make coronavirus vaccinations more like the yearly flu shot, according to the agency.
FDA will also ask its panel to vote on whether all vaccines should target the same strains.
That step would be needed to make the shots interchangeable, doing away with the current complicated system of primary vaccinations and boosters.
The initial shots from Pfizer and Moderna — called the primary series — target the strain of the virus that first emerged in 2020 in Wuhan, China, before going on to quickly sweep the world.
The updated boosters launched last fall were also tweaked to target omicron relatives that had been dominant, according to the FDA.
Experts continue to debate whether the latest round of boosters significantly enhance protection, particularly for younger, healthy Americans.