The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would like to see healthy adults get routine annual COVID shots, just as they do for flu.

The goal is to get more people protected by simplifying the process, eliminating the clutter of immunization cards with multiple entries and the need to keep track of a flurry of jabs.

Some young children, older adults and people whose immunity is compromised would get two shots per year, according to briefing documents filed ahead of a meeting with the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which provides recommendations to the FDA. The panel and FDA are scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss that and other issues.

FDA scientists say that by now, many people in the U.S. have “sufficient preexisting immunity” against COVID-19, having been vaccinated, infected or both. With that underlying protection, an annual booster that’s tweaked for the latest variant could be woven into existing vaccine protocols.

It’s a way to increase vaccination rates among the eligible Americans who have not received the updated booster tailored to the latest version of omicron and authorized last August.

More than 80% of the country’s population has gotten one dose of vaccine, but just 16% have gotten the more recent shot.

With News Wire Services

Theresa Braine

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