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The US FDA suggests annual Covid-19 booster doses for healthy individuals in an effort to streamline the vaccination programme

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a strategy for adults to receive annual Covid-19 booster shots, in an effort to simplify vaccine strategy. The proposed strategy is intended to help protect against emerging variants of the virus and reduce the frequency of booster shots needed to maintain protection.

The FDA’s proposal, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, recommends that adults aged 18 or older who have already been vaccinated with a two-dose regimen of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines should receive a third dose of the same product 12 months after their second dose. The agency suggests that adults who have already received a single-dose regimen of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive a booster shot of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna 12 months after their initial dose.

The FDA notes that the booster shot strategy is based on “current evidence and clinical judgement” and that it is intended to provide an interim approach to simplify vaccine strategy until more data is available. The agency also warns that data is limited on the duration of protection following the booster dose, and that additional research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of the strategy.