US top health officials announced that it could be several days until we can have the approval of booster shots for COVID-19. The expert advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration has recommended a booster shot for a limited portion of the population.
The National Institutes of Health’s director the step taken by the advisory panel of the FDA to administer COVID-19 booster shots to people only above 65 years and those with underlying conditions and vulnerable was preliminary.
Boosters For COVID-19 May Be Expanded To More People
Dr. Francis Collins, talking to Fox News on Sunday said that he believes a wide section of the population will be able to receive booster shots and approval may come in upcoming weeks.
Collins believes that considering the data available on the effectiveness of vaccines, the recommendation was the right step. But he added that as more data continues to come about the vaccines’ efficacy wearing off, it wouldn’t be long until more groups of people need to be administered.
Collins, appearing on the National Programme, said that he believes in upcoming weeks, there will come a decision to extend the administration of booster doses to more people beyond the approved list.
Amidst the high surge caused by the ultra-infectious delta variant, many rich nations including the United Kingdom and the United States are considering booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines.
This month, the World Health Organization called for a suspension on booster doses between the problems of vaccine supplies to poorer nations, where they are yet to receive their primary doses.
The international scientists’ group last week said that even between the concerns caused by the delta variant, administering booster shots for the general population does not seem like an appropriate idea at this pandemic stage.
Writing in The Lancet Journal, the scientists said that decisions regarding the requirement for booster doses or time of booster doses should be based on clinical or epidemiological data analysis.
The authors of the article included top scientists from the World Health Organization including Mike Ryan and Soumya Swaminathan.
They wrote that in order to justify boosters, more evidence was necessary that the vaccines remain highly preventive against COVID-19 severe symptoms including variants like Delta.
Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo, the lead author said that the available studies at present do not offer enough evidence of declining protection, which is the main vaccination goal.
She believes that people around the world that are still awaiting primary doses should be prioritized.
She said that by providing these countries vaccines, we could end the virus globally and make sure there are no new emerging variants. Though the authors acknowledged that people with a compromised immune system would benefit from a booster shot.
President Joe Biden‘s chief medical advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, praised the board plan of the Food and drug administration advisory on Sunday. Based on the emerging data, he stressed that this decision was not the end of the story, and the guidance will probably expand in the upcoming weeks.
Americans who have received one shot of Johnson & Johnson, and two shots of Moderna, are still waiting for possible guidance on booster shots.
Talking to the Meet and Press Programme of NBC, Fauci said that the data about the second shot for Johnson & Johnson and the third shot for Moderna is a couple of weeks away. He added that the agency is working to get the data to the Food and Drug Administration so that it can be examined soon.
The FDA will consult the advisory group and announce the decision within some days. Weighing in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected this week.
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