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The United States sets the stage for millions of COVID booster shots | News

The US vaccination drive for COVID-19 is at stake in a major new stage as government advisers recommended additional vaccinations of Pfizer’s vaccine to millions of older people or other vulnerable Americans on Thursday. Was there.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers said boosters should be provided to people over the age of 65, residents of nursing homes, and people aged 50-64 who are at risk for potential health problems. An additional dose will be given at least 6 months after the last shot of Pfizer.

It was much harder to decide who else would get it. There is little evidence that young people are at risk of weakening their immunity, but the Panel is a booster option for people aged 18-49 who have chronic health problems and want them. Provided.

The advisor refused to go any further and opened the booster to healthy front-line healthcare professionals who were not at risk of serious illness but wanted to avoid even mild infections.

“It might be better to say give it to everyone over the age of 18. We have a very effective vaccine and it seems to say,” It’s not working. ” It is a thing. It’s working, “said Dr. Pablo Sanchez of The Ohio State University. He helped block the widest range of booster options.

Still, getting the first unvaccinated shot was a top priority, and the panel wrestled with whether the booster discussion was distracting from that goal.

All three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States provide high protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death, despite the prevalence of highly contagious delta variants. However, only about 182 million Americans, or 55 percent of the population, are fully vaccinated.

“We can give people boosters, but that’s not the real answer to this pandemic,” said Dr. Helen Kape Talbot of Vanderbilt University. “The hospital is full because people are not vaccinated. They are full of unvaccinated COVID-positive patients and refuse to care for those who deserve care.”

Thursday’s decision represented a dramatic reduction in the Biden administration’s plan announced last month to distribute boosters to almost everyone to strengthen protection. At the end of Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer boosters for slices of a much smaller population than the White House envisioned, like the CDC panel.

It is up to the CDC to set the final US policy on who qualifies for additional shots. Decisions from government agencies were scheduled for late Thursday, but the CDC usually follows the advisor’s recommendations.

The booster program represents a significant change in the country’s vaccination drive. The UK and Israel have already given a third round shot against strong opposition from the World Health Organization that poor countries are not sufficient for the initial dose.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, held a meeting on Thursday, emphasizing that unvaccinated vaccination remains a top priority “here in America and around the world.”

Walensky admitted that the data on who really needs a booster right away is “not perfect.” “But collectively they form a picture for us,” she said, “and they have at this moment we have to make a decision about the next stage of this pandemic. It is. “

The CDC Panel emphasized that its recommendations will change as new evidence shows that more people need boosters.

CDC advisers have expressed concern to the millions of Americans who received shots of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson early in the deployment of the vaccine. The government has not yet considered boosters for those brands and has no data on whether giving Pfizer shots to those people is safe or effective.

Can we say to people over the age of 65 late this afternoon, “You are at risk of serious illness and death, but now you can only protect yourself in half.” I don’t know, “said Dr. Sara Long. Of Drexel University.

About 26 million Americans received the last dose of Pfizer at least six months ago, about half of whom are 65 or older. It’s not clear how many more CDC panel boosters qualify.

According to CDC data, the vaccine provides strong protection against serious illnesses of all ages, but is slightly reduced among the oldest adults. And immunity to mild infections appears to diminish months after people’s initial immunity.

For most people, if they don’t belong to the recommended group for boosters, “because we really think you’re well protected,” said Dr. Matthew Daily of Kaiser Permanente Colorado.

Public health experts who were not involved in Thursday’s decision said it was unlikely that people seeking a third dose at a drugstore or other site would need to prove their eligibility.

According to CDC’s Dr. Kathleen Dooling, even with the introduction of boosters, those who receive only the first two vaccinations are considered completely vaccinated. This is an important question for some people in some countries who need to show evidence of vaccination in order to eat at a restaurant or enter another place of business.

The CDC has concluded that there is little risk among those who are in a position to benefit from boosters. Serious side effects from the first two doses of Pfizer are extremely rare and include occasional heart inflammation in young men. Data from Israel, which gave Pfizer a third dose to nearly 3 million people (mainly over 60 years of age), did not reveal a danger signal.

The United States has already approved a third dose of the Pfizer and Modana vaccines for certain people with weakened immunity, such as cancer patients and transplant recipients. Other Americans could get boosters by simply asking, whether healthy or not.

The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

The United States sets the stage for millions of COVID booster shots | News

Source link The United States sets the stage for millions of COVID booster shots | News

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