As COVID-related hospitalizations rise new COVID vaccines are in development. The release of a new COVID vaccine is scheduled for next month. Still, health experts and analysts predict that it will be met with indifference, even as hospitalizations from “Eris,” a variant of the omicron form of the coronavirus, increase nationwide.
Some public health professionals anticipate that Americans will view the new vaccine similarly to the influenza vaccine. In 2021, when the vaccine became available, more than 240 million Americans, or 73% of the population, received at least one dose. Since then, however, the demand for the vaccine has decreased significantly.
In the autumn of 2022, when most people had contracted the COVID virus or received the vaccine, fewer than 50 million people received the vaccination.
Next month, healthcare providers and pharmacies such as CVS Health will begin offering the updated vaccine to combat the omicron strain of the virus, which has dominated since last year.
Ashley Kirzinging, director of the survey methodology at the Kaiser Family Foundation, stated that they would have to combat waning concern about the virus, fatigue, and skepticism about the efficacy of this vaccine.
“Public health officials, if they want the majority of adults to receive these annual vaccines, will need to convince the American public that COVID is not over and still threatens them,” Kirzinger said.
She stated that the main reason vaccinated individuals cited in KFF surveys earlier this year for forgoing annual vaccinations was that they believed they were immune to the virus due to previous vaccinations or infections.
The COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have lowered their expectations for this fall’s vaccination campaign. Pfizer, the largest manufacturer of mRNA injections with BioNTech, recently indicated that it may have to lay off employees if it does not perform well. Its largest competitor, Moderna, acknowledged that demand may be as low as 50 million doses.
Last year, Pfizer and Moderna’s global vaccine sales exceeded $56 billion; analysts anticipate sales of approximately $20 billion this year.
Michael Yee, an analyst at Jefferies, does not anticipate the autumn campaign to surpass last year’s.
“Consider what transpired last winter. It was 50 million in the United States, which is likely less than that this year, given that there is less concern about COVID.
Vaccine after pandemic
The COVID public health emergency terminated in May, and the government has delegated a significant portion of its vaccination responsibilities to the private sector. According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.1 million individuals in the United States have died from COVID.
In a webinar last week, CDC Director Mandy Cohen stated that she anticipates the vaccinations, which still require FDA approval and CDC recommendation, to be administered in the third or fourth week of September. She suggested Americans regard these vaccinations as an annual precaution, similar to the yearly flu shot.
As with influenza, Pfizer/BioNTech SE, Moderna, and Novavax have developed versions of the COVID vaccine to match the variant they anticipate will be circulating this autumn. The projectiles are directed at XBB.1.5, a subvariant that resembles EG.5 and is also a sublineage of the still-dominant omicron variant.
According to CDC data, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are up more than 40% from recent lows reached in June. However, they are still more than 90% below peak levels reached during the omicron outbreak in January 2022.
The evidence suggests
Some physicians suggest that COVID-19 vaccinations should be administered annually to the elderly and other high-risk individuals, who are most likely to suffer severe consequences if they contract the virus.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University and liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practises, stated that the committee may issue a weakened recommendation for younger, healthier individuals. This may also impact demand.
“Should children receive this booster?” Schaffner remarked. Should the ordinary younger adult without a preexisting condition receive this vaccine, or should it now be a more targeted vaccine?
The CDC recommended that children aged six and older receive a single dose of the updated vaccine from the previous year.
Dr. David Boulware, a specialist in infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota, has published research indicating that vaccinated individuals experience less severe symptoms for a brief duration.
Even if you become ill, boosting your immune system will be the most effective method to reduce the duration of your illness, he explained.