Annual booster shot may be needed to combat Covid-19: Fauci

Annual booster shot may be needed to combat Covid-19: Fauci

Bloomberg — Vaccines against Covid-19 could be switched to annual doses similar to those to protect against the flu, health advisers to President Joe Biden said as the U.S. government urges people to look for newly authorized boosters designed to combat the omicron sub variants that are now dominant.

“It’s possible that we’re headed toward a path that has a vaccination rhythm similar to the annual flu shot,” said Anthony Fauci, a Biden adviser on Covid-19 who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

On Tuesday, health officials held a briefing after regulators approved the new generation of vaccines for Covid-19 and expanded their eligibility, urging people 12 and older to receive another dose if they haven’t received one in the past two months.

Vaccines against Covid-19 are likely to become an annual vaccine adapting to the latest variants, for the majority of the population, and more frequent doses will be given to those most at risk, they said.

Fauci cautioned that a sudden change in the virus could alter the period of time during which doses are given.

“If the wild card variant comes out, anything could be possible,” Fauci said, referring to the protections currently offered by modified vaccines made by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

Annual booster shot may be needed to combat Covid-19: Fauci

Ashish Jha, who serves as Biden’s COVID czar, said officials expect people to get boosters throughout the fall, including at routine doctor visits or at the same time as getting their flu shot. Modified reinforcements will be available to a large portion of the population later this week.

Jha has asked Congress for new funding to continue providing vaccines and treatments to combat the coronavirus. “It is now important that you step up and provide additional funding for Covid-19 so that we can beat this virus,” Jha said.

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