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Dr. Shah: FDA is looking to simplify how the COVID-19 vaccine is administered

Virus Outbreak-Vaccines
Rogelio V. Solis
AP file
A nurse prepares a syringe of a COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation station in Jackson, Miss., July 19, 2022. U.S. health officials are proposing a simplified approach to COVID-19 vaccinations, which would allow most adults and children to get a once-a-year shot to protect against the mutating virus. The new system unveiled Monday, Jan. 23, 2023 would make COVID-19 inoculations more like the annual flu shot. Americans would no longer have to keep track of how many shots they’ve received or how many months it’s been since their last booster.

The Food and Drug Administration is considering a change in how the COVID-19 vaccine is administered, so that it's similar to the flu vaccine.

The goal is to simplify the approach so that most people would get a single shot, versus an initial two-dose series followed by booster shots. Maine's CDC director Dr. Nirav Shah says the decision will be based on what's known about the virus itself and how well vaccines protect against variants.

"It's possible that the COVID shot will become something like your flu shot that you get once a year," Shah says. "It's also possible that it will be something that's less frequent. Ultimately, that will be determined by the scientists."

Shah says the reason the latest COVID-19 variant hasn't caused a major wave so far this winter is that there are high levels of immunity from vaccinations and previous exposure to the virus.