As the coronavirus morphs into a stubborn and unpredictable facet of everyday life, scientists and federal health officials are converging on a new strategy for immunizing Americans: a vaccination campaign this fall, perhaps with doses that are finely tuned to combat the version of the virus expected to be in circulation.
The plan would borrow heavily from the playbook for distributing annual flu shots, and may become the template for arming Americans against the coronavirus in the years to come.
But some experts question how well a renewed vaccination push would be received by a pandemic-weary public, whether the doses can be rolled out quickly enough to reach the people who need them most — and whether most Americans need additional shots at all.
On June 28, scientific advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will meet to identify the coronavirus variant most likely to be percolating in the United States as temperatures cool. That should leave manufacturers time to decide whether the vaccines’ composition needs to be revised and to ramp up production, hopefully enough to churn out hundreds of millions of doses by October.