The FDA Is Considering a New COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy. Roughly Half the Public Appears to Be OK With It
As the Food and Drug Administration weighs new COVID-19 vaccination strategies that mirror the annual approach to influenza, a new Morning Consult survey shows those potential changes may have a relatively muted effect.
About 1 in 8 Unvaccinated Adults Say They’d Get Updated COVID-19 Booster Under FDA Plan
Most unvaccinated adults aren’t sold on primary shot if there is a new formula
- Among all U.S adults, 46% said they’d get a COVID-19 vaccine if the original formula currently used in the primary series of the shots were replaced with the formulation used in updated boosters. An FDA advisory committee voted unanimously on this proposal last week.
- About 1 in 8 unvaccinated adults said they would get the shots, possibly blunting the plan’s impact as it is meant to help increase vaccination rates.
- Meanwhile, Morning Consult’s data shows that willingness to get an annual booster has remained flat over the past several months. Among U.S. adults, 51% said they would get an annual COVID-19 vaccine in the latest survey, compared with the same amount who said they would “definitely” or “probably” get annual shots in a November survey and 56% in a September survey.
Half of Americans Would Get Single Annual COVID-19 Shot if FDA Recommended New Vaccination Strategy
Willingness to get an annual COVID-19 shot varies by generation, community
- Generational groups had some of the widest divides regarding willingness to get a single annual COVID-19 vaccine if the FDA recommended it: 61% of baby boomers said they would get the vaccine, compared with 49% of Gen Xers, 46% of millennials and just 39% of Gen Z adults.
- Among race/ethnicity demographics, slightly over half of white (53%) and Hispanic (57%) respondents said they would get a single annual vaccine, compared with fewer than half of Black respondents (47%) and those who identified as another race or ethnicity (45%) who said the same.
- Roughly 3 in 5 respondents in urban communities said they would get an annual shot, compared with about half in suburban communities and 2 in 5 in rural communities.
White House plans to end PHE as FDA considers new approach
As the Biden administration plans to end the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11, federal health agencies may pivot their strategies to manage the crisis in an endemic environment.
For example, the FDA is considering simplifying its COVID-19 vaccination strategy to mimic that of the flu. Two changes were discussed by the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee last week.
First, the panel voted unanimously to replace original primary series shots with the formulation used in updated boosters. Second, the committee supported -- but didn’t vote on -- the proposal of most people receiving a single annual COVID-19 shot tailored to a specific strain of the virus, but panelists cautioned that more data is needed to prove if the strategy is effective.
The FDA hasn’t announced if there will be a new strategy going forward. However, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra hinted last week that the United States is moving closer to a once-a-year shot, noting that updated boosters for omicron subvariants work better than earlier versions of the vaccine.
The Jan. 28-29, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,202 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.