On Wednesday, the United States moved on one step closer to offer Pfizer coronavirus booster vaccine doses to elders and other adults at high risk from the deadly virus as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed off on the targeted use of third shots. Moreover, the FDA authorized booster shots for Americans who are sixty-five and older, younger adults with fundamental health conditions, and those Americans in jobs that put them at high risk for coronavirus.
The ruling represents an extremely downsize version of the Biden government’s sweeping plan to booster shots to approximately all-American adults to bolster their protection amid the spread of the delta variant. Yet, more regulatory hurdles loom before the administration of third shots can begin. Advisers to the CDC opened a two-day meeting Wednesday to make their own, more specific approvals about who should get the extra doses and when.
On Wednesday decision of the Food and Drug Administration was expected after the health agency’s own panel of advisers last week completely rejected the U.S. plan. Moreover, the panel instead suggested booster shots only for those most vulnerable to severe coronavirus cases. Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner, stated that the agency approval would allow for third shots in health care workers, grocery workers, teachers, and those in prisons or homeless shelters.
When will someone get the booster shot?
Under the recommendation of the FDA, vaccinated nationals are eligible for booster dose six months after receiving their second Pfizer shot. That’s schedule is different than the U.S. president’s suggestion announced in August, which called for third shots after eight months. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, tweeted on Wednesday night that the FDA decision is a crucial move in the government’s effort to provide American nationals with extra protection from coronavirus.
Today’s FDA decision is a major step forward in our effort to provide Americans with additional protection from COVID-19. We have been preparing for weeks to administer booster shots to eligible Americans and are ready to do so following CDC’s final recommendation later this week
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) September 23, 2021
The panelists of CDC heard several presentations Wednesday outlining the complicated state of science on booster shots. On one side, the coronavirus vaccines continue to offer strong protection against hospitalization and death. But on the other hand, there are signs of more low-grade virus infections among the inoculated as immunity declines. The Israeli government and Pfizer provided the statistics, which suggests a strong case for booster shots in Americans sixty-five and older, but there is less evidence that additional doses offer many benefits to younger people with underlying health conditions.
Many CDC advisers agreed third shots are also important for keeping health care staff on the job. Whereas CDC already announced that it is considering booster doses for older adults, front-line health care workers, and nursing home residents instead of all adults. Instead, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international health advocates opposed rich countries to dispense booster shots when poorer nations do not have enough vaccines for their first doses.