COVID boosters will be annual, says White House

Top White House health officials indicated Tuesday that the public is likely to need annual COVID-19 booster shots, making this year’s updated booster similar to an annual flu shot.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that, looking forward with the COVID-19 pandemic, in the absence of a dramatically different variant, we likely are moving towards a path of vaccination cadence similar to that of the annual influenza vaccine, with annual updated COVID-19 shots matched to the currently circulating strains for most of the population,” Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases doctor, said during a briefing.

Barring any “variant curveballs,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha said he expects new boosters “will provide better protection against infection, better protection against transmission and ongoing and better protection against serious illness.”