White House health officials said on Tuesday that Americans may need to get their annual Covid-19 vaccination once a year, revealing the country will live with the coronavirus in the near future. did.
Dr. Ashish Jha, who leads the White House Covid-19 response team, said: “As we continue to reduce critical illness and deaths and protect Americans as we head into the fall and winter, we are demonstrating our ability to make Covid vaccines a more regular part of our lives.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expects annual vaccinations against the novel coronavirus to begin this fall, but immunocompromised people will need more frequent protection. He added that it could be
“In the absence of dramatically different variants, we are likely on the road to having vaccination frequencies similar to annual influenza vaccines, and annual renewals of Covid-19 immunizations are likely to It’s consistent with strains currently circulating in a large portion of the population,” Fauci said.
Fauci said the updated boosters should continue to protect Americans as long as the virus slowly changes away from the BA.4 and BA.5 viruses currently circulating.
He said that if the coronavirus makes a giant evolutionary leap, as it did when the Omicron subspecies surfaced around Thanksgiving last year, Americans should be vaccinated against Covid-19 once a year. He likened it to “a curveball out of left field.”
Fauci told reporters on Tuesday, “There is nothing we can do other than know that there is a vaccine platform that will allow us to move quickly to address it.
However, he stressed that unless the virus changes significantly, the updated booster should continue to protect and may be updated annually.
“It is very likely that the BA.5 updated vaccine we are talking about will retain a significant degree of protection against minor sublineage changes from BA.5. That’s what we’re talking about, and if we can do that, then in the end, and again to reiterate what we said, we need to do more with people who have underlying medical conditions and people who have compromised immune systems. Maybe but for the majority of the population when you look at it on an annual basis, are we still close to what we’re doing now? Well, if so, we’re pretty closely aligned If not, you’ll want to make changes.
Jha urged Americans over the age of 12 to take advantage of the latest booster, stressing that this is the first time the country has a vaccine that matches the currently circulating variant.
He also said people should get the flu shot at the same time as the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I really believe this is why God gave us two arms, one for the flu shot and one for the new coronavirus shot,” joked Jha.
Dr. Rochelle Wallenski, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters, “The benefits of keeping the Covid-19 vaccine up to date are clear.”
Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.4 are the predominant circulating variants of Covid, Walensky said. Hospitalizations are down 14% from last week, she said, but there are more deaths now than in the spring.
“The seven-day average of deaths is still too high, about 375 per day, well above the about 200 per day we saw earlier this spring, and a vaccine-preventable disease,” Warenski said. I think it’s too high for that,” he said. .
Fauci said his message to Americans is “simple: Get the latest updates as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community from Covid-19 this fall and winter. Get Covid-19 shots.