COVID-19 continues to spread under a number of variants, health experts continue to search for the best vaccine approach for the general population. To discuss more about the future prospects, the key science advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which is the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee had a meet on January 26, 2023. The committee has 21 members who discussed a number of important issues that included the efficacy of the existing vaccines.
They also discussed about the contents of the future vaccine strains and also the need for them to be matched with the circulating variants of the existing SARS-CoV-2. Discussion was also held about the future prospects of moving towards an annual shot model of the vaccine. However, amidst the number of issues that were discussed, the key question at the moment was on the ways to simplify the path to get people vaccinated. The committee had to face a question if the COVID-19 vaccines could be administered to the general public as an annual-single shot irrespective of the fact if they are currently vaccinated or not.
As per the current model, one formulation is given as the primary series while a separate formulation is given as a booster. The approved formulations can come from a number of vaccine manufacturers and not just from the ones that are currently authorized. Currently, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention requires the primary shots to have the vaccine that consists of the first generation against the original strain which is also known as the Wuhan strain. But now the committee has recommended to simplify the recommendations to completely replace the original formulation to a single shot.
While doing so, it is expected that the second generation of vaccines would be an upgrade from its predecessors and would be effective in protecting from the current strains that are circulating.
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