The U.S. health regulator on Monday proposed the use of one dose of the latest updated COVID-19 shot annually for most people, similar to the influenza immunization campaign, as it moves to simplify the country's vaccination strategy.

Currently, people in the United States need to first get two doses of the original COVID vaccine spaced a few weeks apart, followed by a booster a few months later.

The Food and Drug Administration also asked a panel of external advisers to consider two COVID vaccine shots annually for some young children, and in older adults and persons with compromised immunity.

The regulator's proposal was outlined in its briefing documents, which would be voted on by its panel on Thursday.

If the panel votes in favor of the proposal, Pfizer Inc's and Moderna Inc's bivalent vaccines, which target both the Omicron and the original variants, would be used for all COVID vaccine doses, and not just as boosters.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)