U.S. regulators on Friday opened up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding a government campaign to boost protections and watch out for a surge in coronavirus cases that could return should be worse during the holidays.
Pfizer and Moderna announced the Food and Drug Administration’s decision after at least 10 states have begun making boosters available to all adults. The latest action simplifies what has so far been a confusing list of who’s eligible by allowing anyone 18 or older to choose the company’s booster six months after their last dose. their own – regardless of which vaccines they received first.
But there’s one more step: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must agree to expand the Pfizer and Moderna boosters to even healthy young people. Its scientific advisers were set to debate late on Friday.
If the CDC agrees, tens of millions more Americans could have three doses of protection before the new year. Anyone who has had a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster shot.
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All three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States still provide strong protection against severe illness including hospitalization and death, but protection against possible infection fade away over time. Previously, the government had phased out the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines, as well as the similar Moderna vaccine, only for vulnerable groups including older Americans and those with chronic health problems.
The expanded move comes as new COVID-19 cases have steadily increased over the past two weeks, particularly in states where colder weather has forced people to stay indoors.
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Driven by those worrisome trends, some states did not wait for federal officials to act. Utah and Massachusetts are the latest states to announce this past week that they are opening boosters to all adults.
Enhancing everyone was the original goal of the Biden administration. But in September, an FDA advisory panel overwhelmingly voted on that opinion based on the vaccine’s continued effectiveness in most age groups. Instead, they endorse a supplemental dose of Pfizer only for the most vulnerable.
Since then, administration officials, including Dr Anthony Fauci, have continued to make the case for boosters more widely, noting that milder infections in younger people have can cause “prolonged COVID” and other complications.
“I don’t know of any other vaccines, we’re just worried about keeping people out of the hospital,” Fauci said.
Last week, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech submitted new data to make the case that broader boosters could help mitigate infections at a critical stage.
“We have absolutely no chance in the current situation to get the pandemic under control without giving everyone boosters,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told reporters during a visit to Washington last week.
The companies studied 10,000 adults of all ages and found that the restoration booster protects against symptomatic infections by about 95% even when the delta variant is not contagious. growing. It’s too early to tell if that high level of protection lasts longer after the third shot than the second, something Sahin said the companies will monitor carefully.
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To back that up, Britain released real data this week showing a similar level of protection as it started offering boosters to middle-aged and older people. Israel has documented large-scale boosters that have helped repel another wave of the virus in that country.
More than 195 million Americans are fully immunized, defined as having received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More than 30 million received a booster.
Prior to expansion, people who had received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine were eligible for a third dose if they were elderly or at high risk for COVID-19 because of their health problems or work or living conditions. . Because a single J&J shot has not been shown to be as effective as its two-dose competitors, any J&J recipient can receive a booster shot at least two months later.
But those who do not meet the standard often score an extra shot because many vaccination facilities do not check the qualifications.
The FDA has previously ruled that people who get the booster vaccine may receive a different brand than the vaccine they originally received.
Some experts worry that all the attention to boosters could harm efforts to reach the 60 million Americans who are eligible for vaccination but not yet vaccinated. There are growing concerns that rich nations are widely supplying stimulant drugs as poor nations are unable to immunize more than a small fraction of their populations.
Dr David Dowdy of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said: “As a number one priority to reduce transmission in this country and around the world, this is still getting people to receive the first batch of vaccines. their”.
© 2021 Canadian Press
https://globalnews.ca/news/8386384/u-s-adults-eligible-covid-19-vaccine-booster/ All US Adults Now Eligible for Booster COVID-19 Vaccine – National