"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Dr. Fauci Endorses the FDA Booster Recommendation

Dr Fauci
Courtesy of CSIS (Flickr CC0)

Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to give the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot only to people 65 and older and high-risk Americans and not the general U.S. population, saying that the FDA advisory panel’s recommendation was good. On Sept. 19, 2021, Dr. Fauci added that he would support a third dose if the data shows that it is effective.

The overwhelming vote against the approval of a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine added to the confusion about President Joe Biden’s plans to give boosters to all Americans beginning the week of September 20 or eight months after their initial vaccinations. According to Dr. Fauci, the plan was to be ready, so they set a date. The priority remains to convince unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated.

Dr Fauci
Courtesy of Phil Murphy (Flickr CC0)

Researchers acknowledged that while the evidence does not support boosting now, people may need it if the immunity fades or a new vaccine-evading variant emerges. Pfizer officials argued that the increasing breakthrough infections could lead to an uptick in severe diseases cases among vaccinated people.

Vaccine’s Effectiveness

Recent data from Israel suggest that while the vaccine is effective, it diminishes over time, so the third shot of Pfizer six months after the second dose could restore the protection by 95 percent.  The vaccines are highly effective against the delta coronavirus variant, and pushing the rollout of Covid-19 boosters only undermines the overall confidence in vaccines.

More than 181 million Americans are fully vaccinated nationwide, and more than 670,000 people died from COVID-19. According to Fauci, they expect the data of boosters from Johnson & Johnson and Moderna in the coming weeks, but there will be separate considerations.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Advisory Committee experts unanimously endorsed offering boosters to people over 65 and those at high risk of severe COVID-19 infection. Subsequently, the votes for those who are 16 years and older were 16 to 2 against recommending booster shots.

Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The Hill: Fauci on FDA advisers’ booster recommendations: ‘I don’t think they made a mistake;’ by Monique Beals
CNBC: Fauci defends FDA panel, says it didn’t make a mistake rejecting booster Covid shots for all Americans; by Samantha Subin

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of NIAID’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image by Edwin J. Torres/ NJ Governor’s Office Courtesy of Phil Murphy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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