The U.S. vaccination drive against COVID-19 stood on the verge of a significant new phase as government advisers Thursday recommended booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for millions of older or otherwise health problems. The extra dose would be once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.despite doubts the extra shots will do much to slow the pandemic. Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents, and those ages 50 to 64 with complex underlying
Deciding who else might get one was far more challenging. While there is little evidence that younger people are in danger of waning immunity, thefor those ages 18 to 49 who have chronic health problems and want one. The advisers refused to healthcare workers who aren’t at risk of severe illness but want to avoid even a mild infection. “We might as well just 18 and older. We have a very , and it’s like saying, ‘It’s not working.’ It is working,” said Dr. Pablo Sanchez of Ohio , who helped block the broadest booster option.
Still, getting the unvaccinated their first shots remains the people are not vaccinated. We are declining care to people who deserve care because we are full of unvaccinated COVID-positive patients.”, and the panel wrestled with whether the booster debate was distracting from that goal. All three used in the U.S. are still highly protective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even amid the spread of the extra-contagious . But only about 182 million Americans are , or just 55% of the population. “We can , but that’s not the answer to this pandemic,” said Dr. Helen Keipp Talbot of Vanderbilt University. “Hospitals are full because
Thursday’s decision represented a dramatic scaling back of the White House envisioned. It is up to the CDC to set the final U.S. policy on who qualifies for the extra shot. A decision from the agency was expected later Thursday, but the . The booster plan marks an important shift in the nation’s . Britain and Israel are already giving a third round of shots over strong objections from the that poor countries don’t have enough for their initial doses.plan announced last month to dispense boosters to nearly everyone to shore up their protection. Late Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration, like the CDC panel, signed off on Pfizer boosters for a much narrower slice of the population than the
needs a booster immediately “are not perfect.” “Yet collectively, they form a picture for us,” she said, “and they are what we have at this moment to decide the next stage in this pandemic.” The CDC panel stressed that its recommendations would be changed if new evidence showed more people needed a booster.Dr. Rochelle Walensky opened Thursday’s meeting by stressing that vaccinating the unvaccinated remains the Walensky acknowledged that the data on who
The CDC advisers expressed concern over the millions of Americans who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots early in the vaccine rollout. The government still hasn’t considered boosters for those brands and has no data on whether mixing-and-matching and giving a Pfizer shot is safe or effective. “I just don’t understand how later this afternoon we can to people 65 and older, ‘You’re at risk for severe illness and death, but only half of you can protect yourselves right now,'” said Dr. Sarah Long of Drexel University. About 26 at least six months ago, about half of whom are 65 or older. How many more would meet the CDC panel’s booster qualifications is unclear.
CDC data shows that vaccines still offer strong protection against serious illnesses for all ages, but there is a slight drop among the oldest adults. And immunity against milder initial immunization. For most people, if you’re not in a for a booster, “it’s really because we think you’re well-protected,” said Dr. Matthew Daley of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. experts not involved in Thursday’s decision said it is unlikely people seeking third doses at a drugstore or other site will be required to prove they qualify.
Even with the introduction of boosters, someone who has gotten just the first two doses would still be considered fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s Dr. Kathleen Dooling. That is an important question to people in parts of the country where you Among people who stand to benefit from a booster, there are few risks, the CDC concluded. Serious from the first two Pfizer doses are exceedingly rare, including heart inflammation that sometimes occurs in younger men. Data from Israel, which has given nearly 3 million people — mostly 60 and older — a third Pfizer dose, has .to eat in a restaurant or enter other places of business.
The U.S. has already authorized third doses of the Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.for certain people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and transplant recipients. Other Americans, healthy or not, have managed to get boosters, in some cases, simply by asking. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical