COVID Vaccines: Annual Updates and Potential Impacts on Immunity and Profit

In summary, The FDA is trying to simplify the Covid-19 vaccine process in order to look more like what occurs with the flu vaccine. This could include streamlining the vaccine composition, immunization schedules, and periodic updates of Covid-19 vaccines. The FDA said it expects to assess circulating strains of the coronavirus annually and decide in June which strains to select for the fall season. Previous exposure to the virus offers significant protection against serious disease and death, regardless of the variant involved.
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russ_watters
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FDA recommends shifting to once a year COVID vaccines.
We've been speculating about this happening for a couple of years:
The US Food and Drug Administration wants to simplify the Covid-19 vaccine process to look more like what happens with the flu vaccine, according to documents posted online on Monday. That could include streamlining the vaccine composition, immunization schedules and periodic updates of Covid-19 vaccines.

The FDA said it expects to assess circulating strains of the coronavirus at least annually and decide in June which strains to select for the fall season, much like the process to update annual flu vaccines.
https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/23/health/fda-covid-vaccines-strategy-shift/index.html

I think at this point most of us saw this coming, but it will still be interesting to see how the transition happens, both for the vaccine and the virus. Details are still to be worked out.
 
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Interesting article. I too suspected that at some point as the SARS-COV2 virus evolves and with enough exposure (either through immunization or natural infection) that the virus will become endemic and there will eventually be a "steady state" where annual vaccinations with a version of the vaccine based on the latest available variant information will be distributed.

It is worth proceeding with some caution, however, since there are questions about the availability of genomic surveillance to catch a new radically different SARS-COV2 variant. Dr. Peter Hortez of the Baylor College of Medicine has been quoted in the CNN article as follows: “We don’t have the surveillance mechanisms in place globally. We don’t have the genomic sequencing in place globally. We don’t have the carefully orchestrated dance that took decades to build for influenza surveillance in place for coronavirus surveillance."
 
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We do have to remember that Covid 19 is caused by a very different virus to flu. The influenza virus has a rather near trick, it quite frequently engages in a major recombination which changes most if not all of its antigenic properties. From your immune systems point of view these are essentially new viruses so the elaborate surveillance is entirely appropriate, maintaining a broad based immune response and/or incorporating high risk strains makes perfect sense. This isn't the case with Covid 19, there are already a huge number of variants around waiting their turn in the evolutionary race, these variants have changes that often effect their sensitivity to certain antibodies but the virus maintains some conserved area's and the variants while they may have reduced sensitivity to the range of antibodies we produce, none show significant resistance to them all. Even though the majority of the antibodies are not maintained at high levels, we do retain a memory of the virus which increases the speed of our bodies responses.
This means that previous exposure continues to offer significant protection against serious disease and death, regardless of the variant involved, this isn't the case with flu. Based on this we are already seeing differences in the recommendations for Covid vaccination with many countries not likely to recommend annual boosters. In fact exposure to natural infection in an already highly immune population, may be a more effective strategy unless your a shareholder in Pfizer that is.
We need better identification and surveillance of new potential pathogens though it may be that after the attacks on the Wuhan facility, which was involved in these activities there may be some reluctance. That's why they stopped referring to the new Covid variants with names derived from where they were first discovered, who wants to be blamed for a new pandemic.
 
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Laroxe said:
In fact exposure to natural infection in an already highly immune population, may be a more effective strategy unless your a shareholder in Pfizer that is.
:biggrin:
Indeed, and although I'm not sure whether they eventually managed to "update" the vaccine to match the variant , but the ones that were given out worked on the same level if not less than natural immunity with regards to the last major strain like Omicron.

Most of whom I knew (still know by the way...) got Omicron at some point and that includes both those who had been just vaccinated as well as those who had prior infection, as well as those who had neither.

At some point you just have to attack your enemy head on and then it's the "survival of the fittest" it seems.
 
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Laroxe said:
In fact exposure to natural infection in an already highly immune population, may be a more effective strategy unless your a shareholder in Pfizer that is.
One other thing those shareholders (and plenty of others with a similar view elsewhere...) might be annoyed about is Woody Harrelson's latest SNL monologue... it's a short one but the suspense in the air was such you could hang an axe midair.Too bad they were given legal immunity because I (and many others I believe) would love to sue them for damages that resulted from their latest product (needless to say which) which also I believe is their most widely produced drug to date.
 
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What is a "Once a Year COVID Vaccine"?

A "Once a Year COVID Vaccine" is a type of vaccine that is administered once a year to protect against COVID-19. It is similar to the flu vaccine, which is also given annually.

How does a "Once a Year COVID Vaccine" work?

A "Once a Year COVID Vaccine" works by introducing a small amount of the virus into the body, which triggers the immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies then protect the body from future infections of the virus.

Who should get a "Once a Year COVID Vaccine"?

The "Once a Year COVID Vaccine" is recommended for everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine. This includes individuals who have not been previously infected with COVID-19 and those who have already had the virus.

Are there any side effects of the "Once a Year COVID Vaccine"?

As with any vaccine, there may be some mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site, fever, and fatigue. These side effects are typically short-lived and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

How effective is the "Once a Year COVID Vaccine"?

The effectiveness of the "Once a Year COVID Vaccine" may vary depending on the specific vaccine and the individual's immune response. However, studies have shown that the vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

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