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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

One and done COVID shot? FDA looks at simplifying vaccine schedule

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The COVID booster vaccine could become an annual vaccine as the Food and Drug Administration meets to discuss a proposal that could simplify the vaccination schedule.

Those aged 6 months and older now need a series of two doses of the vaccine before a booster shot two months later.

If approved, some unvaccinated people would be able to skip the primary series of COVID shots and go straight to an annual booster shot.

“People are still getting vaccinated, but unfortunately uptake of the latest bivalent vaccine has been low, we’re seeing more than 15% of eligible people get vaccinated, and every six months or more People are eligible for the vaccine. It works,” said Dr. David Hill of the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association is running an outreach program asking people for booster shots.

“I’m a pulmonologist,” Dr. Hill said. “We see a large number of COVID patients in the hospital. Despite this, our outpatients continue to experience chronic lung symptoms associated with COVID infection. Both vaccines and treatments have been shown to reduce the incidence of long-term COVID.”

Recently, local health officials said a new subvariant of Covid had been detected in Travis County, echoing the importance of boosting shots.

“Studies have shown that the new bionic booster is effective in preventing the severe disease caused by the new variant. So another measure that shows it’s important to get vaccinated, get tested early and contact your healthcare provider if you’re at risk Providers matter, too,” Dr. Hill said.

An FDA panel will meet on Thursday to consider the proposal.

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