SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The practices of masking, social distancing, and getting vaccinated are all key components of the pandemic-response strategy as the ever-changing coronavirus continues to mutate.

Millions of COVID-19 vaccines have been given since December 2020. And at AIC Monday, several students received booster shots for protection against emerging variants.

“I want to protect the others around me,” said Paola Sotoburgos, Junior at AIC. “It’s a very important thing to be up-to-date with your health and honestly, you can take care of yourself and your peers by doing so.”

Both the FDA and the CDC currently recommend that everyone six months and older who is eligible should be receiving their COVID-19 booster shot at least two months after their last dose. With this current recommendation, a “fully vaccinated” person is someone who has received their primary vaccinations followed by the bivalent booster shot two months later.

But the FDA’s committee on vaccination is set to meet Thursday, to reconsider this vaccination approach.

22News spoke to Dr. Armando Paez, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Baystate Medical Center about a potential change to the vaccine rollout plan in the future.

“They’re proposing to harmonize all the booster shots against COVID-19,” Dr. Paez said. He explained this would make the vaccine strategy for COVID-19 similar to that of the flu, with people getting an annual shot with the most up-to-date version of the vaccine.

Dr. Paez added that it’s important for people, especially the immunocompromised and elderly, to get boosted while the FDA considers a new vaccine rollout path. “The booster shot can help prevent serious illness from COVID-19.”

The FDA intends to make this week’s meeting agenda and committee roster available to the public by Tuesday.