FDA announces that covid vaccines will be given annually, like flu shots

Embed from Getty Images
So the covid shot is going the way of the flu shot: it’s about to become an annual thing. The FDA just proposed that the covid vaccine switch to a schedule like the flu shot: dispensed once yearly in the fall/winter before the seasonal surges. People will only need one dose to have immunity for a period of time and the FDA is hoping this switch will make things easier for everyone. The FDA also said that it will retire the original vaccine from 2020 and only use the newer iterations that include protection against the omicron variant.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced new changes for how the COVID-19 vaccinations could be administered moving forward.

On Monday, the agency published a briefing document proposing that the COVID vaccine switch to an annual shot ahead of the winter months when the virus would be the most dominant — similar to the strategy used when administering the flu vaccine.

Individuals would only need one dose of the vaccine to “restore protective immunity for a period of time.” The change was proposed in hopes of making the process simpler for the public and manufacturers and minimizing errors from doctors.

“This simplification of vaccine composition should reduce complexity, decrease vaccine administration errors due to the complexity of the number of different vial presentations, and potentially increase vaccine compliance by allowing clearer communication,” the briefing document read.

The agency also announced that it plans to retire the original vaccine, which first hit the market at the end of 2020, and use only Moderna and Pfizer’s doses that protect against both the original strain of COVID and the omicron variant.

[From People]

We kind of suspected this would happen, that covid would soon be treated more like the flu. So it’s good to see it confirmed. Not everyone will get the vaccine, just like not everyone gets the flu shot, but hopefully we’ve reached the point where covid is largely manageable, if not completely preventable. People are always going to act in their own interests, but hopefully this new of the vaccine switching to an annual shot like the flu shot will convince some holdouts. After nearly three years, covid finally got me in December, just a month after I’d gotten my second booster. I had mild versions of literally every symptom except shortness of breath, so I was laid up for a week, but it probably would be been so much worse if I hadn’t been double vaxxed and boosted. Luckily rates of this and the other respiratory illnesses are finally going down after the winter. Hopefully this schedule change will make things easier, convince some holdouts, and get us back to something closer to normal.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

14 Responses to “FDA announces that covid vaccines will be given annually, like flu shots”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. blue says:

    There’s a scandal here. Write and call your congressional members. Moderna & Pfizer have both announced a gigantic price increase for the covid vaccines, from less than $30 per dose to $130. Actual cost per dose is less than $5, so the profit margin here seems criminal. The government paid billions for the vaccines through December 2022 but won’t any longer. Inflated pricing means fewer people will be able to afford the vaccine & insurers may increase rates. This is as bad as the Sacklers overselling opioids. Speak up! Excuse the rant, please, but it’s important.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ blue, no need to apologize as it’s critical to point out that OUR tax dollars paid for the implementation and the rollout for the desperately needed vaccine. We have all already paid our fair share of the vaccine and we shouldn’t continue to allow them to stuff their pockets for the purely for greed.

      It is imperative that we hold the big Pharmas from taking advantage of this life saving vaccine. They are the bane of everyone’s existence and cause many Americans who live on a fixed income to choose between their food or medication.

  2. OzJennifer says:

    Covid finally caught up with me in December too. I had a mild case, mostly a runny nose and a persistent, dull headache, but the damn virus then hung around in my sinuses for about 3 weeks. All good now though! I’ve had all my boosters and I’m sure it would have been worse if I wasn’t fully vaxxed. I’ll take whatever boosters are offered in the future too.

  3. Case says:

    In my neck of the woods, cases remained fairly high throughout all of 2022, including the summer. It really disturbs me that we’re just moving on and acting like it’s under control when we’ve never really managed to do this. Public health decided it’s acceptable to have 400 deaths a day from this year round because no one can be bothered. I’m one of millions of disabled, immunocompromised, or chronically ill people who will probably not get my old life back for many more years. It’s disheartening.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      The world gave up because it couldn’t coordinate due to idiot anti-vaxxers. We all needed to take it at the same time across the globe so it had nowhere to go and no one to mutate inside. But we didn’t. Look, Taiwan got down to zero cases because of its quarantine policy. But not China, which also had stringent policies in place. But people finally rebelled against them and cases are soaring there. China’s cases are worse now than in the beginning and I’m sure a new variant will be coming out of there soon too. People want this to be over so they’re acting like it is and that’s that. It is insane but there is also a mental health need for normalcy. Since there are treatments for the disease (if you get it, get on Paxlovid right away and don’t let anyone tell you no—I mean it), and humanity refused to do what was needed to eradicate it, the next step is having to live with it. It’s here to stay. Get vaccinated yearly, whoever can, and get an anti viral when you get it. Because if you don’t keep double masking, you will get it, guaranteed.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Case and @ ThatsNotOkay, I fully agree with your comments. Why are turning a blind eye to the 409+ deaths each day?? Do we not have any compassion for our fellow man??

        The disinformation must be struck down and the vaccines must be mandatory, no excuses.

        As I too am immune compromised, I find it appalling that people are living as if the coronavirus is simply a long forgotten memory. I have had as many shots as legally allowed and I am fortunate to have not caught the coronavirus. On top of which we see state legislators not taking action as the infection rates rise in our own communities.

        As for China, I found it shocking that the mere fact that they had such aggressive coronavirus restrictions yet their over 65+ had one of the lowest vaccination rates. Until we all come together to stamp out the coronavirus we will be living with this deadly disease for years to come.

      • Liz Version 700 says:

        Yep people got tired of Covid…but Covid is not tired of us sigh

    • ElleV says:

      this! it’s not like the flu, and each successive infection increases the long-term risks, and it’s still spreading like wildfire because vaccine efficacy is in the toilet now and no one will wear masks (not least because public health officials downplayed their effectiveness because of supply issues early on)

      that rise in other illnesses since things opened back up is not just due to a lack of exposure during lockdowns – i’m seeing increasing concern that covid itself messes with your immune system making it more difficult to mount a defence against other diseases too

      this is a mess and public health lost control thanks to political shenanigans – now the most vulnerable are paying the price

      • Sunday says:

        Thank you!! Once more for the people in the back: Covid is NOT like the flu, even if you’re vaccinated, even if you’re boosted. It causes *brain damage*. It has severe implications on your cardiovascular system, dramatically increasing your chances of heart attack or stroke. And then there’s long covid, which is essentially a mass disabling event that everyone is completely ignoring, which is actually more common in those who have “mild” cases.

        Just because the government has ceded its responsibility and added public health to the growing list of Things We Give Up On Because Doing Anything About Them Will Enrage Conservatives, along with any accountability for the insurrectionists that continue to sit in the halls of congress, doesn’t mean that Covid is over, or “just a flu” now.

  4. Betsy says:

    Per the pictures chosen for this article, I remember that during the heaviest push for the vaccine it was reported that showing pictures of people getting vaccinations actually pushes needlephobes and vaccine fence sitters away from getting the jab. People who don’t like needles don’t like pictures of people getting poked with needles.

  5. Julia says:

    I agree with this 100%. There is a great thread on Twitter that points out that Covid is being sold to us as a virus that you catch and fully recover from, and THAT’S NOT WHAT IT IS. Covid lingers in the body, causing unknown amounts of damage. If our leaders cared about us, money would be being spent to improve vaccines, anti-virals, and air quality. Instead, they’re pretending that “doing even less” is the same thing as “making actual improvements”. It’s not real progress; it’s just lowering our standards EVEN FURTHER.

  6. Jensies says:

    Individuals would only need one dose of the vaccine to “restore protective immunity for a period of time.”

    So this is my issue…what constitutes an appropriate “period of time”? Like is the vax actually still working to high immunity for a year? Does immunity start to dip and at what point? I’ve seen some UK research on this but nothing from the US. I just don’t want to be under the impression that I have full or near full Immunity for the year and then discover it’s at like 30% by six months, basically gone by one year, as I’ve seen in some research.

  7. Gelya says:

    I haven’t got my 5th dose. I was told to wait. I keep waiting. I fall in that cusp that four shots is fully vaxxed and 5th would be optional. It is very confusing. I think one of the reasons FDA is changing guidelines because it has become too confusing even for doctors and pharmacists.
    My almost ninety year old Mother has not had her 5th dose. That upsets me because her doctor comes to her home every other week to check on her. She has excellent care. I keep asking why he hasn’t given her fifth dose. This doctor is respected, protective of his patients and informed. He is not giving 5th dose to many of his patients because he feels it is not needed for some of his patients.
    Also the elderly high rise my Mother lives in also vaccinates all the residents. They are not vaccinating anymore. I do feel like there is too much confusion over vaccines that yearly will simplify it.

  8. Katherine says:

    I’ll take all the vaccines, please.