RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Hidalgo and Cameron County Health authorities are weighed in on the FDA’s recent discussion regarding annual COVID vaccines.
This week the FDA proposed an annual COVID shot schedule but the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biology Products Advisory Committee expressed doubts about the proposal.
Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority, said there will be a lot of questions from the community about a yearly booster recommendation.
“If you look at all the counterarguments for this latest recommendation, none of them are based on safety. They’re all based on efficacy. And so, the question is, are we ready?” Dr. Melendez said.
He said although the virus is constantly changing, the consideration of an effective yearly booster is heading in the right direction.
“This is a very strong first step and given a uniform recommendation and a medication that compared to not getting it is significantly helpful and has a very high safety profile,” he said.
Dr. James Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority, said it can be hard to keep up with the changing variants.
“We’re going to want some, you know, updated vaccines to deal with new variants that come up, especially if a new variant comes around that is really bypassing the immune response that the past vaccines gave,” Dr. Castillo said.
Both health authorities agreed a yearly booster recommendation can be beneficial.
“I can see how it will protect some people, especially those most at risk. And it will really depend on who those vaccines are being targeted at, or is this a broad recommendation for everybody,” Dr. Castillo said.
Although there is a proposal and discussion, an official recommendation from the FDA has not been announced.