NewsUS drug agency is examining: is the annual corona...

US drug agency is examining: is the annual corona vaccination coming?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently examining whether there should be a fourth corona vaccination. This could be the start of annual refreshers.

Silver Spring – While the number of cases in Germany remains at a high level, the infection situation in the USA seems to be gradually stabilizing. Daily new infections and hospitalizations are declining, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently examining whether a second booster vaccination should be approved. The refreshers could come from the fall with the vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna. The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday (02/19/2022) and cites a person familiar with it.

That could be the start of an annual booster shot in the US, similar to the flu shot, according to the Wall Street Journal report. According to estimates by the US authorities, people who get their annual flu vaccination in the fall anyway might be more willing to get an annual corona vaccination. However, a final decision by the FDA is still pending. Should a new variant emerge, boosters may be needed sooner, the source is quoted as saying by the journal.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
founding 1927
Seat Silver Spring, Maryland (USA)
supervisory authority Ministry of Health

Fourth corona vaccination in the USA: study indicates conditional omicron protection

The approval of a fourth vaccination also depends on whether it should be restricted to all adults or only to certain risk groups. It must first be clarified whether the refresher should be specially adapted to the Omicron variant. However, the result of a study published by the Israeli Shiba Hospital indicated that a fourth corona vaccination only provides limited protection against the omicron variant.

Even if the effects of a second booster are disputed, Israel recommended a fourth vaccination against the coronavirus for all adults aged 18 and over at the end of January. As the Wall Street Journal further reported, before a decision can be made, the data must first and foremost show that a fourth injection significantly improves people’s immune defenses and reduces the risk of suffering a severe course of Covid 19.

Shortened interval for booster vaccinations in the USA

In January, the FDA changed the emergency use approval for the Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna corona vaccines. The interval for a booster vaccination has been reduced from six to five months. “Vaccination is our best line of defense against Covid-19, including circulating variants, and shortening the time between primary immunization and a booster dose may help reduce declining immunity,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in a statement in early January.

It is not yet clear whether there could also be annual booster vaccinations in Germany. So far, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has only recommended a fourth corona vaccination for certain groups. Accordingly, there should be a second booster vaccination for people over 70 years of age, people in care facilities and with immunodeficiency and employees in medical facilities. “The vaccination schedule of our vaccines is approved for two vaccinations. The booster definitely helps. However, I am skeptical about very frequent and high-frequency vaccination against the same variant again and again,” explained virologist Hendrik Streeck in an interview with merkur.de. (cheese)

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