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Experts are trying to figure out the future of the COVID-19 vaccines

The current coronavirus vaccines may only be the beginning

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An illustration of the delta variant.

The FDA said the current coronavirus vaccines aren’t perfect at fighting the new omicron variant subtype

Illustration by Michelle Budge, Deseret News

A panel of outside experts has been meeting to discuss the COVID-19 boosters and whether or not more people need them, according to NBC News.

Flashback: The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved a second booster shot for people 50 years old and up, which should be taken four months after the first booster shot.

  • However, it’s unclear if this policy extends to the wider general population.

The latest: The panel of outside experts is still looking into whether or not COVID-19 booster shots will be needed for the general population, and how the population considers booster shots in the future.

  • FDA scientists may approve a process where experts decide on vaccines based on different strains — like the flu, NBC News reports.

What they’re saying: “This discussion today is a much larger discussion — it’s a discussion for what do we do about the entire population, and what do we do when we think the virus has evolved further,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, per Reuters.

The bigger picture: This comes as new research suggests protection against infection from a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose wanes quickly, according to CNN.

  • The fourth shot, though, still protects against severe COVID-19, CNN reports.