FDA advisers weigh booster strategy: 4 things to know

The FDA's outside panel of vaccine experts largely agreed for the need to tailor future COVID-19 vaccines during a virtual meeting April 6, though the exact path and timeline to do so is still unclear, according to NPR.

Four things to know:

1. The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met to develop a framework for the nation's COVID-19 booster shot strategy. The FDA has not yet asked members to vote on specific booster recommendations. 

2. The committee is weighing whether a new booster should be rolled out this fall. 

"Although we've seen a major decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the virus continues to circulate and it will continue to do so and will potentially cause waves of an increased numbers of cases," Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said during the meeting. "This is of particular concern as we head into the fall and winter season."

3. Based on this timeline, the FDA would need to determine which strain or strains a new booster should target by June at the latest, so drugmakers have enough time to manufacture the shots, according to NBC News..

4. The panel did not come up with a concrete plan on boosters, noting it is difficult to predict what strain of the virus the U.S. may be facing in the fall. NPR said it is likely the committee will meet again in May and June to develop a more detailed proposal for reformulated COVID-19 shots. 

 

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