U.S. consultant supports the expansion of COVID boosters to all adults
The U.S. government began to open up COVID-19 intensified injections to all adults on Friday, expanding its efforts to prevent the increasing number of coronavirus cases. Experts worry that as millions of Americans travel on vacation, these cases may snowball into the winter peak.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s decision aims to simplify a confusing list of eligible vaccinations: now, anyone 18 years of age or older can choose Pfizer or Moderna boost six months after the last vaccination Vaccines, regardless of which vaccine they received first. This happened after about a dozen states began to provide boosters to all adults on their own.
“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.
But there is one more step before the policy is finalized: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must agree. After discussing the safety and practicality of Pfizer and Moderna boosters for healthy young people, its scientific advisors supported this initiative on Friday afternoon.
The CDC consultant said that anyone 18 years and older can choose a booster of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, but goes a step further and emphasizes that people 50 years and older should get one dose. The CDC is expected to make a final decision later on Friday.
“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 first priority remains to get more unvaccinated Americans to receive the first dose of the vaccine. This is because 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. But over time, protection against infection may weaken.
“For most people living in the United States, death from COVID-19 can be prevented with a vaccine,” Daly pointed out.
However, if the CDC agrees, tens of millions of Americans more than six months after the last Pfizer or Moderna injection can receive additional protection before the new year. The dose of Moderna booster is half of the early injection dose. Anyone who has received a dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster after two months.
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.
As new COVID-19 cases have steadily climbed over the past three weeks, especially in states where colder weather has forced people to stay indoors, efforts to expand boosters have also followed. Instead of waiting for federal officials to take action, some states have opened up boosters to all adults.
Max said he understands why some governors would withdraw before the FDA.
He said: “We will enter the cold season, the number of cases will increase, the tourist season, people will spend a good holiday indoors. They may have seen the specter of what may happen here and are trying to-kindly-do something. “
Everyone’s booster is the original goal of the Biden administration. But until now, U.S. health authorities—with the support of their scientific advisers—have questioned the need for such a widely used booster. Instead, they only endorse Pfizer or Moderna boosters 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, the FDA concluded that the overall benefit of the additional protection of the third dose of vaccine for any adult outweighs the risk of rare side effects of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, such as a type of heart inflammation that is mainly seen in young men.
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.
More than 195 million Americans are fully vaccinated, defined as having received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. More than 30 million people have already received boosters. This includes some people who are not qualified; many vaccine sites are not qualified.
Some experts worry that all the attention to boosters may undermine efforts to reach the 60 million Americans who are eligible but 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.”