The council of vaccine advisors had to recommend that the agency authorize booster shots for the general public; after six or eight months after the second dose. But they did not do so. Instead, they recommended them for the following groups of people:
- Emergency use authorization for booster doses for those above 65 years of age
- For immuno-compromised people
- Health-care workers
- For those prone to infections at work even if they are not at risk for severe illnesses
Why FDA Refuse To Recommend COVID19 Booster Shots For Everyone?
The question, however, is why they did not recommend it for everyone? The agency presents its own reasons for it:
- According to the agency, time has not yet come for a booster shot
The declared objective of vaccines is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. According to studies, they are doing it effectively. Even Pfizer said that their vaccine is up to 90% effective in preventing deaths. It, however, said that the protection does not last long. But the agency did not take it seriously.
- There are no sufficient evidences to support the need of a booster dose
Vaccine advisors are fully convinced that the elderly and those at high risk of severe illness need a booster shot. But there is no evidence to suggest that an average American needs it. According to them, Pfizer is going out of its way to state that even the younger people need booster shots. The council also has reservations about the safety of such a move. It wants CDC to launch slow and steady.
- There is no enough data
According to the FDA’s advisory committee, the data Pfizer submitted is not expert-evaluated. It also expressed its disappointment at the fact that even FDA has not reviewed it. Lasting protection from infection comes from the B-cells and T-cells of the immune system. Pfizer’s studies talk only of the antibody responses to germs. There is no sufficient data, even about the doses of the vaccines being administered.
- The council is concerned of teens and young adults
The authorities are requesting the agency to approve it as the third dose for those above 16 years of age. But there is no sufficient data to support their claim for youngsters. Studies, however, show that young adults are at high risk of a rare heart disease called myocarditis upon receiving an MRNA shot against COVID 19. The agency has informed vaccine manufacturers about such a risk.
There is no sufficient information about this risk. They will know more about it only if they administer the booster shots widely. The agency is not comfortable authorizing a booster dose for younger adults until further studies are available in the matter.
- More people have to receive the first dose of the vaccine
The country may need booster doses in the future. But at present, the first goal is to ensure that everyone receives the two doses of the vaccines. The country has enough and more doses of vaccines to administer. But people are reluctant to receive them. The situation is frustrating. America has the tool to eradicate the pandemic. But no one wants it.
Campaigning for booster doses in this phase is not going to make much difference, they said. They want the authorities to ensure that the country is vaccinated enough to curb the pandemic. That will happen only when everyone gets the two doses of vaccines.
Even World Health Organization says it. It appealed to countries to put an abrupt ending to the campaigns for booster doses.
Till now, more doses of the vaccines went to high-income countries. The trend has to be reversed, the agency says.
Vaccinating the entire world is the only way to attain the target of global eradication of the virus. Otherwise, not even a single country is safe.
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