The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that the U.S. should decide each June what SARS-CoV-2 strains should be included in an annual fall booster shot. Doing so would allow updated COVID-19 vaccines to be ready for distribution "no later than September" each year, according to documents published by the regulator on Monday morning. The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is set to meet Thursday to discuss the proposal, as well as other issues, like whether the same strain should be included in the primary series of shots and booster doses. The seven-day average of new U.S. COVID cases stood at 46,418 on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker. That's down 29% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 22% at 37,089. The average for deaths was 487, up 4% from two weeks ago. The global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 66i.1 million on Tuesday, while the death toll rose above 6.74 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with 102 million cases and 1,104,390 fatalities.
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