WASHINGTON, D.C. – Officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently admitted that COVID-19 – despite vaccines and newly-developed treatments – is likely here to stay, and will become a regular part of life for Americans going forward.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock, and top vaccine official Dr. Peter Marks noted that U.S. residents will have to continue to deal with COVID-19 going forward, similar to the flu.
“[COVID-19] will likely circulate globally for the foreseeable future, taking its place alongside other common respiratory viruses such as influenza,” they said.
The three officials noted that annual vaccinations will likely be needed as new variants of the virus continue to emerge, in addition to the degree of immunity that a previous infection can potentially afford.
“Widespread vaccine-and infection-induced immunity, combined with the availability of effective therapeutics, could blunt the effects of future outbreaks. Nonetheless, it is time to accept that the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the new normal,” they said. “And it likely will require similar annual consideration for vaccine composition updates in consultation with the [FDA].”
Previously, the medical community had claimed that COVID and the influenza were in no way similar, with Dr. Anthony Fauci claiming in October 2020 that former President Donald Trump’s previous claims to the contrary were “not correct.”
Yet a year later Fauci did an about-face in an interview on the Omicron variant, saying, “That’s entirely conceivable and likely” that Americans would have to deal with COVID in a similar manner to the flu.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of May 6, the seven-day average for COVID-19 infections was approximately 68,000 per day; in contrast, in mid-January that number reached as high as 800,000 per day.