The Covid mutations have been many since the original formula for the vaccine was developed and give…
In an analysis prepared for Tuesday’s meeting, FDA officials acknowledged targeting last winter’s version of omicron is “somewhat outdated” since it already has been replaced by its even more contagious relatives.
“We would obviously like to get it right enough,” Marks said, so that with one more shot “we get a full season of protection.”
Many experts say updated boosters promise at least a little more benefit.
“It is more likely to be helpful” than simply giving additional doses of today’s vaccine, said epidemiologist William Hanage of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
That’s assuming the virus doesn’t throw another curve ball.
“We’re following rather than getting ahead which is so vexing — that we haven’t come up with a better variant-proof vaccine,” said Dr. Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, who has urged a major government push for next-generation immunizations.
Adding to concern about a winter COVID-19 wave is that about half of Americans eligible for that all-important first booster dose never got it. An updated version might entice some of them.
But “we do need to change our expectations,” said Dr. William Moss of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who noted that studies early in the pandemic raised unrealistic hopes of blocking even the mildest infections. “Our strategy can’t be booster doses every couple of months, even every six months, to prevent infections.”
The top candidates are what scientists call “bivalent” shots — a combination of the original vaccine plus omicron protection….
The Biden administration has made clear that it needs Congress to provide more money so that if the FDA clears updated boosters, the government can buy enough for every American who wants one. And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, told Congress last week more research funding also is critical to create better next-generation vaccines, such as nasal versions that might better block infection in the nose or more variant-proof shots.
“The virus is changing and we need to keep up with it,” Fauci, said….