To simplify the logistics of COVID-19 immunization in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing an annual one-dose shot for healthy adults. This move aims to streamline the nation’s COVID-19 management strategy by following a similar plan to the influenza immunization campaign.
The US health regulator also proposed to use only the bivalent doses for primary and booster shots. The FDA also requested that its panel of outside advisers consider administering two doses of the vaccine annually to some young children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems.
The proposal caught experts in the health care sector, including FDA’s own advisors, off guard. The organization is set to meet this Thursday to discuss the full details of the vaccination strategy for the country, including which dose and when they will be applied.
The agency highlighted the large gap that exists thanks to the different needs of each person. “Most individuals may only need to receive one dose of an approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine to restore protective immunity for a period,” said the FDA, according to The New York Times. Other scientists suggest that low risk people will not even need a single dose, as most people are “well protected against severe COVID-19 disease with a primary series and without yearly boosters,” said Céline Gounder, Infectious Disease Physician and Senior Fellow, Kaiser Family Foundation.
These experts argue that it is necessary to see detailed information about who is most susceptible to the virus before making a plan.
Vaccine supply and administration has been one of the most discussed topics in the morning conferences of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as the nationally-produced “Patria” vaccine has not been made available to the public because it remains in the third phase of clinical trials.
When asked about the slow progress made during clinical trials, Hugo López-Gatell, Deputy Minister of Health, assured that citizen participation has been slow “for the simple reasons that there are almost no cases anymore.” López-Gatell highlighted that the clinical trial is aimed to prove the efficacy of Patria as a booster vaccine, according to El Financiero.
As of Jan. 24, 2023, 65% of Mexico’s population, around 82.65 million people have the complete initial protocol for the COVID-19 vaccine, while 13% are only partially vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.