An advisory committee of the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to convene a meeting on Wednesday. In it, the panel will discuss which group of its citizens should receive Pfizer booster shots to strengthen their immune systems to fight off COVID 19.
The country’s Food and Drug Administration will decide if only those above 65 or people in the high-risk groups should get the booster dose. The CDC’s committee will discuss which high-risk group should receive the booster dose. Health officials are expecting a decision in this regard by Thursday.
CDC To Review The Possibility Of Vaccine Booster Shots
Biden Administration, in the meantime, had announced that it aims to start offering booster shots to most of the Americans. But he is waiting for the final nod from the federal regulators.
Scientists from Israel’s Health Ministry and those from Pfizer submitted their findings to the FDA. They reported that Pfizer’s vaccine-induced immunity wanes over time. They say that a booster will add up to the immune system’s fighting power against the virus. But there exists a notable difference in the US in this analysis. Israel considers everyone with a level of oxygen below 94% and an unusually accelerated respiratory level as fatally ill. But according to CDC, a severely ill person is someone who needs hospitalization.
Furthermore, certain members of the experts have their own reservations in recommending booster doses for an averagely healthy American adult. Its adverse effects still remain unknown. Certain among them link the vaccine with a rare type of heart inflammation.
Research, however, shows that the risks are rare. And the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks.
In the end, the FDA’s advisory panel reached the conclusion that two doses are sufficient for the general public. They are effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
According to the US National Institutes of Health, there is no sufficient evidence to suggest that everyone needs a booster. It may be of help to those prone to severe illness.
World Health Organization, however, says that an averagely healthy individual does not need a booster dose. This, the agency said, in its appeal to healthier nations. It wants them to halt the administration of vaccine booster shots.
WHO has always been working to eliminate vaccine inequity among nations. Such a moratorium will help WHO to reverse the trend. It wants more vaccine doses to go to low-income countries.
There are countries that could not even administer vaccines even to 2% of their population, the agency said. The percentage of vaccination in most of the African nations is below 3%. Besides, administering a third vaccine dose to the healthy population is a short-sighted approach.
WHO understands that immuno-compromised individuals will need a booster vaccine dose in the future, but it is concerned that Africa will miss the agency’s goal of vaccinating 10% of the population of every single country in the world.
The rollout of booster doses has already started in the US. According to CDC, 54% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated. If WHO decides to sign off on boosters, it will need to invest $1000000000 annually in Africa alone.
A large number of rich nations have committed to donating millions of doses of vaccines to low-income countries. But most of such nations are not in a position to buy them on their own. They are bound by various kinds of trade restrictions. According to African nations, relaxing such restrictive measures will ensure increased vaccination in their countries.
African leaders called on wealthier nations to relax their restrictions on the export of vaccines, their ingredients, and technology to other countries. According to them, rolling back these restrictions is more urgent than deliberating on intellectual property. Intellectual property does not get the vaccines, they said.
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