The health authorities of the United States have voted this Thursday in favor of administering a booster dose against the coronavirus of Pfizer-BioNTech. A group of advisers from the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) has unanimously decided that those 65 and older and residents of nursing homes receive a third puncture six months after the second. In divided votes, the experts also approved that it be received by people aged 50 to 64 who have underlying health problems, and youth and adults aged 18 to 49 who suffer from chronic diseases. The panel stressed that they will change the recommendations if new evidence points to more people needing a booster.
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On Wednesday night the drug regulatory agency (FDA) approved the booster dose for the aforementioned demographic groups and for workers highly exposed to contracting the virus in their jobs. However, the CDC team of experts voted against employees highly exposed to infection, such as teachers or supermarket clerks, receiving a third puncture.
The Joe Biden Administration expected agencies to approve the third round of injections to the general population, but the vast majority of scientists were against healthy people receiving it, truncating the US president’s plans to stop the spread of the drugs. outbreaks due to the delta variant. Immunosuppressed patients can already receive a third injection.
The experts debated the data available so far. On the one hand, they show that covid vaccines continue to offer strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. On the other, more lower-grade infections occur among those vaccinated as immunity declines. Furthermore, scientists are divided on whether the evidence obtained so far is sufficient to make the decision. Walensky acknowledged that the data “is not perfect.” “However, collectively they form an image for us,” he said, “and they are what we have right now to make a decision about the next stage of this pandemic.”
The priority remains to vaccinate the unvaccinated “here in the United States and around the world,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, on Thursday, before a panel that discussed whether offering a third dose could distract from the vaccination plan. aimed at those who do not want to be inoculated. About 22 million Americans received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine more than six months ago, according to the CDC. About half of them are 65 or older. Regulatory agencies do not recommend that people vaccinated with a different brand receive the third puncture from Pfizer. The FDA will decide soon on whether to approve the administration of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots.
Limited recommendations from experts truncate Biden’s plans to tackle outbreaks of the delta variant virus with as much artillery as possible. The United States is administering about 760,000 doses a day, far from the peak of 3.4 million a day reached in April. Approximately 180 million Americans are fully vaccinated, representing 64% of the eligible population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has opposed the richest countries administering a third dose when the poorest do not yet have enough vaccines to administer the first to their population.
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