Since the coronavirus pandemic first began, Americans have been told that they should not compare COVID-19 with the flu. Yet in a surprising change, that is exactly what some high-level officials with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are now advocating.
According to the Epoch Times, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf made the case for treating COVID like influenza in a recent article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Califf was not alone in this position, as he was also joined by Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock along with top vaccine official Dr. Peter Marks.
FDA officials say COVID “is the new normal”
“Widespread vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, combined with the availability of effective therapeutics, could blunt the effects of future outbreaks,” they were quoted as saying.
“Nonetheless, it is time to accept that the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the new normal,” the authors declared.
They added that the virus “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],” the officials predicted.
What’s more, they argued that COVID vaccines and boosters should be promoted on an annual basis much in the same way that flu shots have been for decades.
“Administering additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to appropriate individuals this fall around the time of the usual influenza vaccine campaign has the potential to protect susceptible individuals against hospitalization and death, and therefore will be a topic for FDA consideration,” the authors said.
Not everyone agrees with likening COVID to the flu
This will involve making decisions “about who should be eligible for vaccination with additional boosters and regarding vaccine composition.”
Yet despite the FDA’s shifting stance, not everyone is on board with likening COVID to the flu. Among them is Dr. Jorge Salinas who works as an assistant professor of infectious disease at Stanford University.
He recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that contracting COVID is like playing against an unfamiliar sports team, saying, “COVID is a very sneaky team. We don’t know that much about it, and they may not play by the rules of the game.”