Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlined a plan Monday to offer Americans a new Covid-19 shot each fall — a strategy similar to how health officials combat the flu virus on a yearly basis. 

The FDA initiated a plan to only offer bivalent primary and booster shots and do away with the original vaccines that do not combat the pervasive omicron variant, according to The New York Times. Bivalent shots are designed to provide broad protection against Covid-19 and target omicron. The plan is intended to streamline the administration of shots and simplify the chemical composition of vaccines. 

Advisers within the FDA are set to meet Thursday to discuss the overall plan, consider the dosing schedule and determine which shots will be offered, The Times reported. Some advisers said there wasn’t sufficient research to support the tentative plan and that public health experts should study the effectiveness of the dosing interval if it goes into effect. 

State health officials encourage residents to refer to the CDC’s community levels map to track the severity of Covid-19. As of Jan. 24, Charleston County’s community level was downgraded from medium to low since the previous reporting period.

For the week ending Jan. 21, Covid-related hospitalizations were down 17.4% in comparison to the week ending Jan. 14. For the week ending Jan. 21, state officials reported 20 people died from Covid-19 — 48 fewer deaths than the previous week. In this period, 6,589 new cases were reported — 1,256 fewer than the previous reporting period.

Latest COVID-19 data

As of Dec. 20, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) will no longer include data on ventilations and weekly trends due to a new system of tracking adopted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

SCDHEC transitioned to weekly reporting of new Covid data in December 2022. The most recent numbers were reported Tuesday and covered Jan. 15-21. In other data:

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 69.5%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 60.6%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 23.5%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 19.5%

For more information, visit the S.C. SCDHEC COVID-19 dashboard.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.