PHILADELPHIA (TBEN / TBEN) – The United States on Wednesday moved closer to offering booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the elderly and others at high risk of contracting the virus as the Food and Drug Administration approved the targeted use of the extra shots.
The FDA has cleared booster doses for Americans 65 and older, young adults with underlying health conditions, and those in jobs that put them at high risk of COVID-19. The move represents a significantly scaled-down version of the Biden administration’s sweeping plan to administer third doses to nearly all American adults to bolster their protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
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President Joe Biden wanted the boosters to be available to everyone this week. This is not happening.
But who can get a third hit, and when? It is still very much pending.
A CDC advisory committee has started two days of meetings to decide details about those at high risk. For example, should healthcare workers be given booster shots, and when?
“We currently live in a world that I call corrected science. We learn, we apply it, then we learn again, ”said Dr Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
Pfizer says people who were boosted six to eight months after their second dose of the vaccine tripled their antibodies, increasing protection against mild infections and the contagious delta variant.
Since the current discussions focus solely on Pfizer, health officials must decide what to say to Americans who have received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
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Both of these companies have submitted recall data, but it has yet to be reviewed.
“It’s messy, it’s ugly, but it’s because there is scientific uncertainty and when there is scientific uncertainty, we want to hear from all sides,” said the former senior adviser to White House for COVID response, Andy Slavitt.
At the White House, Biden launched a virtual world summit on immunization. He said the United States was doubling its vaccine purchases from Pfizer to more than a billion doses to be shared with the world.
The president also urges other rich countries to do more.
“This is a crisis that affects everyone,” Biden said.
The administration said it was able to provide additional vaccines to poor countries while increasing supplies here to cover booster injections.
CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl contributed to this report.
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(© Copyright 2021 TBEN Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The The Bharat Express News contributed to this report.)