The United States opens up COVID boosters to all adults, urging them to be over 50
The United States opened up the COVID-19 booster injection to all adults on Friday, and took additional measures to urge people 50 years and older to get vaccinated. The goal is to prevent the increase in coronavirus cases before millions of Americans go on vacation. The resulting winter surge.
So far, Americans have faced a confusing list of people who are eligible for boosters. These lists vary based on age, health status, and the type of vaccine they received first. The US Food and Drug Administration authorized changes to Pfizer and Moderna boosters to make it easier.
According to the new regulations, anyone 18 years of age or older can choose Pfizer or Moderna boosters six months after the last dose. For anyone who has received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait has only been two months. People can mix and match boosters from any company.
“We clearly hear that people need something simpler-I think it’s very simple,” Dr. Peter Marks, the head of FDA vaccines, told the Associated Press.
Before the new policy officially takes effect on Friday night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must agree. The director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, agreed with the advice of her institution’s scientific advisors—in addition to providing boosters to all adults—and emphasized that people 50 and older should be urged to vaccinate. Agent.
“This is a stronger suggestion,” said Dr. Matthew Daly, CDC consultant at Caesars Medical Institution in Colorado. “I want to make sure we provide as much protection as possible.”
The CDC also called on those who were previously eligible but have not yet registered for boosters to stop postponing – saying that American seniors and people at risk of obesity, diabetes or other health problems should try to get a holiday before.
Expansion makes tens of millions of Americans eligible for additional protection.
The top priority for the United States and the world is still to get more people who have not been vaccinated to get the first dose of the vaccine. All three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States continue to provide strong protection against serious diseases, including hospitalization and death, without the need for booster immunizations.
However, as time goes by, protection against infection may weaken. The United States and many European countries are also recommending the range of boosters in response to the wave of new winter cases. In the United States, the diagnosis rate of COVID-19 has steadily increased in the past three weeks, especially in states where cold weather has driven people indoors.
About a dozen states did not wait until federal officials took action to open boosters to all adults.
“The direction is not very good. People are getting more and more indoors,’Oh,’ next week happens to be the biggest travel week of the year, so it might make sense that we are here to do our best to turn the situation around,” Max told The Associated Press .
Vaccination began in the United States in December last year, about a year after the coronavirus first appeared. More than 195 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, defined as two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. More than 32 million people have received boosters, and a large proportion (17 million people) are people 65 years of age or older.Experts say this is reassuring because the elderly are at a particularly high risk of contracting COVID-19 and are among the first to be vaccinated
Adolescent boosters have not yet been discussed, and Pfizer’s child-dose vaccine has just been introduced to children between 5 and 11 years of age.
The Biden administration initially planned to provide boosters for all adults, but until now, the US health authorities-with the support of their scientific advisers-have questioned whether such a wide-ranging exercise is necessary. Instead, they first endorse Pfizer or Moderna boosters only for disadvantaged groups (such as American seniors or people at high risk of COVID-19 due to health problems, work or living conditions).
This time, experts agreed that the overall benefit of the third dose of the vaccine for any adult (six months after the last injection) outweighs the risk of rare side effects from Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, such as the most common form of heart inflammation. young people.
Because of this concern, several other countries discourage the use of the Moderna vaccine among young people. The data cited indicate that the vaccine may have slightly more rare side effects than its competitors.
Pfizer told CDC consultants that in an enhanced study of 10,000 people as young as 16 years old, the side effects of the third dose of the vaccine were not more serious than the earlier vaccine. The study found that even in the case of a surge in delta variants with extra infectiousness, enhancers can still restore protection against symptomatic infections to about 95%.
The real-world data recently released by the United Kingdom shows that once boosters are provided to middle-aged and elderly people, their protection measures will have the same jump, while Israel believes that the widely used boosters will help repel another wave of viruses.
Although vaccines stimulate immune memory to prevent serious diseases, protection against infection depends on the level of antiviral antibodies that weaken over time. No one knows how long the antibody level will remain high after the booster immunization.
But Dr. Sara Oliver of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that even a temporary increase in protection against infection may help in winter and holidays.
Some experts worry that all the focus on boosters may undermine efforts to help the 47 million U.S. adults who have not yet been vaccinated. There is growing concern that rich countries are providing a wide range of boosters when poor countries cannot vaccinate a small part of their population.
Dr. David Dowdy of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University said: “In terms of the number one priority in reducing transmission in the country and around the world, this is still getting people to get the first vaccine series.”