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Lisa Jarvis

It’s Still Worth Funding a Better Covid Vaccine

A treatment that’s more effective — and doesn’t need to be injected — would be a huge advance.

Still hunting for a better vaccine.

Still hunting for a better vaccine.

Photographer: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee paved the way for a simpler, flu-like plan for Covid. Everyone, whether they’ve been vaccinated before or not, will get a shot tailored to variants on the virus. And likely, people will get those shots once every fall.

The panel’s recommendation was unanimous, but came after lengthy discussion about the limitations of the strategy. Some worried that the omicron-specific shots seem to offer little improvement over the original vaccine, while others were concerned that an annual shot was too frequent for some — or not frequent enough for others, especially if a new variant emerges.