By Ricky Zipp
February 1, 2023 at 5:00 am ET
As the Food and Drug Administration weighs new COVID-19 vaccination strategies that mirror the annual approach to influenza, a new Morning Consult survey shows those potential changes may have a relatively muted effect.
As the Biden administration plans to end the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11, federal health agencies may pivot their strategies to manage the crisis in an endemic environment.
For example, the FDA is considering simplifying its COVID-19 vaccination strategy to mimic that of the flu. Two changes were discussed by the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee last week.
First, the panel voted unanimously to replace original primary series shots with the formulation used in updated boosters. Second, the committee supported — but didn’t vote on — the proposal of most people receiving a single annual COVID-19 shot tailored to a specific strain of the virus, but panelists cautioned that more data is needed to prove if the strategy is effective.
The FDA hasn’t announced if there will be a new strategy going forward. However, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra hinted last week that the United States is moving closer to a once-a-year shot, noting that updated boosters for omicron subvariants work better than earlier versions of the vaccine.
The Jan. 28-29, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,202 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Ricky Zipp is a data reporter at Morning Consult covering health. @zippricky