A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, written by the top vaccine official in the FDA, has admitted that we should treat COVID-19 just like the flu.
Americans will have to consider COVID-19 as another respiratory virus like influenza going forward, says top officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
COVID-19 will be in circulation for the foreseeable future, according to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock, and the agency’s top vaccine official, Dr. Peter Marks, who wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association (pdf below) that it must be accepted as another common virus. This new reality, like influenza, will almost certainly necessitate annual COVID-19 shots targeted to the virus’s most deadly strains, according to the officials.
“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,” the officials wrote. “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 [FDA].”
Some political leaders and commentators attempted to compare COVID-19 to the flu in the early days of the pandemic, but the coronavirus pandemic proved to be substantially deadlier, killing nearly one million Americans. However, since COVID-19 vaccines became widely available last year, the threat of death from the virus has matched that of seasonal influenza, despite the fact that the former has been significantly more contagious.
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Read the report below: