Tired of keeping up with the latest COVID-19 booster shot? Well, the Food and Drug Administration might have a solution.
On Monday, the FDA announced a proposal to offer most adults and children the option to get a once-a-year shot against the coronavirus. People with weakened immune systems and young children will need a two-dose combo for extra protection. But everyone else could start to move to a system similar to the annual flu vaccine.
The move is partially a reaction to the fact that uptake of the latest booster shot is super low. Only 16 percent of people eligible for the most recent booster have gotten one, according to the Associated Press.
Officials are likely hoping that the fewer shots people have to keep track of, the easier it will be to get people to keep up with their vaccinations.
So far, this new booster schedule doesn’t seem to be tied with increased efforts to make the shots more accessible.
Experts have raised the alarm, that booster coverage has been lower among Black Americans in large part because early programs to make vaccines more accessible have been abandoned.
Still, one shot is certainly easier to keep track of for most people.
According to the AP, part of the decision was stemmed from the FDA’s determination that most Americans have “sufficient preexisting immunity” against the virus, thanks to a combination of previous vaccines and prior-infections.
The FDA will meet with a panel of non-FDA vaccine experts on Thursday, to consider which strains should be targeted in this single-shot vaccine, and whether every vaccine should target the same strains.
Right now, we’re still dealing with sub-variants of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
As we wait to see what happens over at the Food and Drug Administration, getting boosted is still your best bet at fighting against COVID-19 infections.