Many people want to know what to expect next as we enter the third year of the COVID pandemic.
No one can say for certain what the virus will do. However, we are learning more about a potential timeline for treatments, vaccines for younger children and boosters for everyone else.
Read: Michigan reports 1,365 new COVID cases, 24 deaths -- average of 455 cases per day
Right now, just 2% of the U.S. population is living in a county with a high level of COVID. Over the next four weeks, the CDC is predicting a continued decrease in hospitalizations and deaths. Which could mean a more “normal” spring for many Americans.
The next major development could come in May. That’s when Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children under 5 years old could be ready to review. It was delayed after it became clear a third dose might be needed.
Moderna is also completing clinical trials on its vaccine for children ages 6 months to 17 years old. That means there could potentially be two options on the way for kids. There may also soon be another option for adults.
The FDA is widely expected to grant emergency use authorization for the vaccine by Novavax. The protein-based vaccine uses a technology that is already used in flu shots and hepatitis B vaccines. It’s thought the vaccine may appeal to those who’ve been reluctant to get those made with newer mRNA technology.
Researchers and experts are still working to determine when another booster may be recommended for healthy adults. Most predict it wouldn’t be until next fall when many believe COVID cases could rise again. There could also be a treatment option for high-risk kids.
Pfizer said it hopes to have a pediatric version of its antiviral pill Paxlovid available before children head back to school.
The big question mark on any COVID timeline is when a new variant could arise. Experts agree there will be more variants, it remains to be seen how severe they will be.
Read: Complete Michigan COVID coverage