FDA says fourth COVID shot might be needed

Merck's COVID pill appears to be helping
COVID booster shot
Posted at 9:53 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 12:53:15-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — A Food and Drug Administration official is suggesting a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine might be needed closer to fall.

Dr. Peter Marks said the FDA is continually monitoring pandemic data to track emerging variants. Because fall is typically the timeline for flu shots, the same could be true for an additional COVID booster. Right now a fourth shot is only recommended for immunocompromised people.

The CDC reports half of Americans eligible to get the COVID booster have gotten one.

Both the FDA and CDC will have to agree before a fourth vaccine dose is added for the general public.

Meanwhile, Merck's COVID-19 pill appears to be helping people stay out of the hospital. A new study show's the drug company's pill treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization by 65 percent.

Researchers looked at more than 1,200 people with COVID-19 and found that only one and a half percent of the group that took the pill had to go to the hospital.

The study was presented at a major virus and infection conference. But it should be noted that the study has not yet been peer-reviewed.