FDA Proposes New COVID Vaccine Strategy

    FDA Proposes New COVID Vaccine Strategy
    Last updated Jan 23, 2023
    Image credit: AP [via NPR]


    • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday announced plans to structure its COVID strategy similar to its flu vaccine process — including streamlining the vaccine's composition, updating, and scheduling of vaccine and booster doses.[1]
    • In its review, the FDA consulted its external advisor panel on recommending two COVID shots annually for persons most vulnerable to infection, including young children, older adults, and immunocompromised people.[2]
    • Under the current procedure, individuals must first receive the initial two-dose vaccine spaced weeks apart, then receive the Omicron-specific bivalent booster shot two months later. Under the new streamlined measures, people won't need to track their previous doses.[3]
    • The new strategy would also include developing a new vaccine each spring based on the strain expected to be most prevalent in the coming fall.[4]
    • The selection of the strain(s) most likely to be prevalent will be determined each year by the FDA and its advising panel, with new or immunity-evading variants to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.[5]
    • This comes as the contracts between the US government and vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna are set to expire, with the companies set to quadruple the cost of the shots. Americans won't pay the price hike out-of-pocket, but insurance premiums are likely to increase.[6]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Many Americans believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to fix the pandemic but it's not. The resolution to COVID lies in a partnership between the government, businesses, schools, and the public health system. The whole system requires an overhaul to be effective. The US lags behind the Western world in vaccination rates and to overcome this challenge and this virus we must all come together. Aligning COVID guidance to the already-familiar flu guidance is an important first step.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    COVID vaccines were important in bringing the pandemic under control, but too little is still known to be pushing an annual shot, particularly for children who are at low risk of severe infection. The trials conducted so far by Pfizer not only lack adequate scientific rigor but have at times even produced fraudulent data according to whistleblowers. Governments around the world appear to have cut corners and distorted facts in their rush to approve and roll out vaccines at the height of the pandemic; the public now deserves full transparency and rigorous studies on long-term side effects, efficacy and protection against transmission.

    Establishment split