The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

FDA Simplifies COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule


The Food and Drug Administration has published its intent to update the COVID-19 vaccine schedule, similar to the influenza vaccination schedule. 

According to CNN, the FDA is working towards plans to simplify the COVID-19 vaccine schedule so people can receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as their flu vaccine. Biology professor Dr. Christopher Thompson says that since COVID-19 is not a seasonal virus like the flu, it cannot be treated as such. The science behind creating an annual vaccine for COVID-19 is blurry. 

“COVID is not seasonal and so the FDA trying to shift their recommendations to a seasonal vaccination is to get at least some people protected, but it is not the best method for protection. So, we won’t have the greatest vaccines for it because we are only vaccinating once a year, but we are trying to simplify all of the wild strategies that we’ve been hearing.” Thompson said. 

Thompson’s research and work focus on immunology, microbiology, and the dynamics and interactions between hosts and pathogens. He says that the vaccines we have built are some of the safest and most effective ones out there, but COVID and flu are different viruses that require different methods of treatment. 

“We have new vaccines that are incredibly effective, but COVID is not seasonal at this point. So, we are trying to treat two very different diseases in the same way because it is easier, and people are really afraid of vaccines because of the politicization, misinformation and disinformation,” Thompson said. 

Loyola University highly encourages its students to receive their flu and COVID-19 vaccines. Otherwise, students have the option to apply for an exemption. Thompson says that the FDA as well as surrounding universities and colleges will influence Loyola’s directives. 

“It will also depend on the other schools in the state and what they decide to do. They are kind of going to do what other people do and follow FDA guidelines and balance the needs of their students the best they can.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, but the statistics are improving. ICU rates, hospitalizations, and death rates are flat-lining, but wastewater statistics show that people are still infected. Thompson says the recent data indicates that 15% of people in the U.S. received their newest booster and around 101,000 people are dying from COVID-19 every week. 

Thompson said, “Right now that data is encouraging, but we are still in a pandemic, still in an emergency. People are still dying from this every day but most of society is pretending it’s over.” 

Featured Image Courtesy of Samantha Jones.

More to Discover
Activate Search
FDA Simplifies COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule