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FDA Admits COVID-19 Should be Treated Like Influenza


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Top officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote Monday that, going forward, Americans will have to accept COVID-19 as another respiratory virus like influenza.

It took them long enough.

How long have we said COVID-19 was a respiratory illness with a survivability rate similar to influenza?

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock and the agency’s top vaccine official, Dr. Peter Marks, wrote that COVID-19 will be in circulation for the foreseeable future and must be accepted as another common virus in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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As the US emerges from the recent Omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic following close to a million deaths in the country attributable to COVID-19, many people are hoping that the worst is over.1 Widespread vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, combined with the availability of effective therapeutics, could blunt the effects of future outbreaks. Nonetheless, it is time to accept that the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the new normal. It will likely circulate globally for the foreseeable future, taking its place alongside other common respiratory viruses such as influenza. And it likely will require similar annual consideration for vaccine composition updates in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). A recent meeting of the VRBPAC on April 6, 2022, resulted in a lively discussion and agreement on many considerations for planning for upcoming approaches to COVID-19 vaccine strain composition decision-making, development, and recommendations.

Of course, the FDA will use this admission to push annual COVID-19 shots.

cont. from JAMA:

Vaccines, as public health interventions, have been responsible over the past century for reducing an unimaginable amount of morbidity and for saving millions of lives. The eradication of smallpox and near elimination of several other infectious diseases are an unambiguous triumph of modern medicine. During the 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine planning and selection process, it is important to recognize that the fall season will present a major opportunity to improve COVID-19 vaccination coverage with the goal of minimizing future societal disruption and saving lives. With the plan for implementation of this year’s vaccine selection process, society is moving toward a new normal that may well include annual COVID-19 vaccination alongside seasonal influenza vaccination.

Another attempt to justify their ‘new normal.’



 

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