The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Panel is set to discuss the potential of a single-dose COVID-19 booster shot to simplify messaging and increase vaccination rates. Dr. Nicholas Turner, an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at Duke School of Medicine, believes that the one-dose booster would provide a "quite robust" response.
Dr. David Wohl, an Infectious Disease Specialist with UNC School of Medicine, says that simplifying the message and making it easier for people to understand and buy into will be key for increasing traction with the vaccine. According to the CDC, 69% of Americans have completed a primary vaccine series, but only 15% have received their updated (bivalent) booster dose. Dr. Wohl recommended that those 65 and older should "run, don't walk" to get their bivalent.
Reactions to the proposal were mixed, with some people pleased at the simplification of the process and others concerned about the right mix of vaccines. Dr. Turner noted that the questions that the FDA will grapple with include what kind of vaccine to use, whether a vaccine will be necessary in all circumstances, and the development of a universal COVID vaccine.
The CDC reported that COVID hospitalization rates are more than three times lower this year than the same time period last year, and COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths are all trending downwards. The CDC will discuss the issue further during a meeting next month.
The FDA Advisory Panel is scheduled to discuss the possibility of a single-dose COVID-19 booster shot to simplify the messaging and increase vaccination rates. The potential advantages of the booster shot have been noted, but there is also concern among some about the right mix of vaccines. The CDC will continue to monitor the issue, and the FDA will consider the questions related to the vaccine that would need to be answered before any changes can be made.
As of now, the CDC reports that COVID hospitalization rates are more than three times lower than this time last year, and COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths are all trending downwards. The FDA Advisory Panel will convene to discuss the proposed booster shot, and the CDC is expected to discuss this issue further next month.