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A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel was scheduled to vote on Tuesday whether to recommend that updated COVID-19 booster shots be used this fall to protect against Omicron and its highly contagious subvariants.

Because the virus mutates so quickly, the FDA may approve the new vaccine formulations as COVID-19 cases are expected to surge again this winter. Given how fast the virus changes, lengthy human trials may have to be abandoned in favor of more laboratory tests and animal tests, The New York Times reported.

Human trials can take up to five months, which can make the vaccine obsolete before it's even released to the public, according to The Times. Head over to WebMD to read the full story.