The United States this Friday began a new stage in its vaccination plan to tackle the covid outbreaks caused by the delta variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved this morning to administer the third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to those over 65, to patients with underlying diseases over 18 years of age and to workers highly exposed to the virus. Everyone should receive it at least six months after the second puncture. President Joe Biden this morning urged the tens of millions of eligible Americans to go for their third dose. The Democrat hoped that the agencies would allow the healthy population to benefit from the extra dose as well, but scientists said the evidence does not show that it is necessary.
“My message today is this: if you received the Pfizer vaccine in January, February, March of this year, and you are over 65, get the booster dose,” Biden said this morning at a press conference at the Casa White. “If you have a medical condition like diabetes, or are a front-line healthcare worker or teacher, you can get a free booster dose,” said the Democrat. Despite the new plan, “the priority remains to vaccinate the unvaccinated here in the United States and around the world,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, late Thursday.
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Thursday against including employees highly exposed to contracting the virus because of their jobs. However, in an unusual move, Dr. Walensky ignored the advice of the expert panel and included them in her recommendations. She had the final word in her capacity as director of the health authority. The drug regulatory agency (FDA) on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to the booster dose for the same demographics approved by the CDC.
There are still more than 70 million Americans who have not had a shot. “And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against covid with false information,” Biden said. The average number of deaths from covid in the last week surpassed the 2,000 barrier in the United States for the first time since March, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. A third of the deaths have been registered in Texas and Florida, two conservative fiefdoms where a political war has been unleashed over the use of the mask.
Approximately 22 million Americans received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine more than six months ago. 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. Biden said that “in the short term” it will be decided whether to administer a booster injection of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The president was optimistic about this scenario that will affect other tens of millions of Americans.
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. Washington announced Tuesday that it will donate another 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNtech’s coronavirus vaccine to countries with fewer resources, raising the donation commitment to more than 1.1 billion doses in total by 2022.
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