AUSTIN (KXAN) — The COVID booster vaccine may become a once-a-year shot, and the Food and Drug Administration will meet to discuss a proposal that could simplify the vaccination schedule.
Right now, those ages 6 months and older need to take a series of two doses of the vaccine before they can get a booster shot, two months later.
If approved, some unvaccinated people would be able to skip the primary series of COVID shots and go straight to the booster shot once a year.
“People are still getting vaccinated but unfortunately the uptake for the newest bivalent vaccine has been low, we’re seeing a little over 15% of eligible people getting vaccinated and every one six months or older is eligible to get that vaccine. It works,” said Dr. David Hill with the American Lung Association.
The American Lung Association is in the middle of an outreach program, asking people to get the booster shot.
“I’m a pulmonologist,” said Dr. Hill. “We see a tremendous number of patients in the hospital with COVID. Still, our outpatient practices are seeing people with chronic lung symptoms related to having a COVID infection. The vaccine and the treatments have both been shown to decrease the rate of long COVID.”
Recently, local health officials said the new Covid subvariant has been detected in Travis County and echoed the importance of booster shots.
“Studies have shown that the new bionic booster is effective in preventing severity of illness with the new variant. So again, another measure that it’s important to get vaccinated and if you are at risk and become ill, it’s important to get tested early and contact your health care provider,” said Dr. Hill.
The FDA panel meets on Thursday to go over the proposal.