America has now taken a step forward in administering COVID 19 booster shots for the elderly and for immuno-compromised individuals.
The US Food and Drug Administration has given its nod for Pfizer’s vaccine booster shots for the elderly and for those at higher risk of severe infection. Those working in the fields that put them at higher risk of getting infected too are eligible for the extra dose.
FDA Supports Pfizer’s Vaccine Booster Doses For The Elderly
By doing so, the agency took the country a step forward in its declared aim of administering third doses to almost all Americans. The ruling scales back President Biden’s attempt to administer booster shots to the entire adult population of the country. He wanted to do it against the backdrop of the surge of infections due to the Delta variant.
Even then, the administration of booster doses will have to face more legal hurdles. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention will convene a meeting of its own on Wednesday. The agency plans to come up with its own recommendations for the purpose.
On the first day, certain questions confused the experts so much. They wanted to wait at least one month before authorizing booster doses. They wanted to see more evidence that support the claim.
The uncertainty that surrounds the claim about booster doses serves as a reminder that the science with regard to the booster dose is more complicated than President Biden had imagined. His team had announced its plan to offer booster shots to almost the entire country in August.
Health officials expected a decision from FDA in this regard after its advisory panel rejected the Biden administration’s plan in this regard. It limited the administration of the third dose to the elderly and those at higher risk of severe illnesses. The FDA extended it further to healthcare professionals, those working in grocery stores, teachers, and in correctional centers. The agency also said that it is evaluating the evolving science around booster doses. And it will continue to update the general public accordingly.
As per the FDA’s recommendations, those fully vaccinated are eligible for the third dose after six months of receiving the second dose. The same was eight months as per the plan the Biden administration announced last month.
The White House said that FDA’s recommendation is a big step towards the country’s efforts to administer the booster shots to everyone eligible for it to protect them from COVID 19. The country has been preparing for this for a while. And it is ready to administer the shots after it receives the final approval from CDC.
The timing of the decision from the FDA too is of utmost significance. In a general scenario, the agency takes a decision before the CDC can call a meeting of its own experts to discuss a proposal.
During the meeting, the CDC listened to a series of presentations on the complicated science that surrounds the booster doses.
On one side, experts argue that vaccines available today are effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. According to a series of other studies, the immunity wanes with time. And a booster dose is required to rev up the immune systems of those fully vaccinated.
The agency is now entrusted with the task of determining who is eligible to receive this additional dose. The data from the Israeli Health Ministry and Pfizer support the administration of a booster dose. But there is no evidence to suggest that younger adults with pre-existing health conditions require it.
CDC had already announced that it will support booster doses for healthcare professionals. The country does not have enough healthcare professionals to assist the unvaccinated, it feels.
Global agencies like World Health Organization, however, oppose the move. There are no vaccine doses to supply to low-income countries, it says.
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