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The US expands COVID boosters to all adults, anticipating the final hurdle




Pfizer and Modana say U.S. regulators have opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, allowing them to choose different doses of either vaccine.

Pfizer and Modana announced the Food and Drug Administration’s decision after at least 10 states have already begun to provide boosters to all adults. The latest action is to allow anyone over the age of 18 to choose a booster from either company 6 months after the last dose, regardless of which vaccine was first given. Simplify what was a confusing list of eligible people.

But there is another step. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must agree to extend Pfizer and Moderna boosters to healthy young adults. The scientific adviser was set up to discuss late Friday.

If the CDC agrees, more than tens of millions of Americans can receive three protections before the New Year. Anyone who has been vaccinated with a single Johnson & Johnson vaccine can already be vaccinated with a booster.

All three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States provide strong protection against serious illnesses such as hospitalization and death, but protection against infection can diminish over time. Previously, the government allowed boost immunization of Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines, and similar Modana vaccines, only to vulnerable groups, including older Americans and people with chronic health problems.

The move to expansion comes from the steady increase in new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, especially in states where cold weather is driving people indoors.

In the wake of these concerns, some states did not wait for federal authorities to act. Utah and Massachusetts were the latest states last week to announce the opening of boosters to all adults.

A booster for everyone was the original goal of the Biden administration. However, in September, a committee of FDA advisors overwhelmingly disagreed with the idea, based on the continued efficacy of the vaccine in most age groups. Instead, they approved additional doses of Pfizer only for the most vulnerable.

Since then, government officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have continued to insist on the use of boosters more widely, and even milder infections in young people can cause “long COVID” and other complications. I point out that.

“I don’t know of any other vaccines that are only concerned about keeping people away from the hospital,” Fauci said in a briefing Wednesday.

Last week, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech submitted new data to argue that a wider range of boosters could help control infection during times of crisis.

“In the current situation, there is no chance of controlling a pandemic without providing boosters to everyone,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told reporters during his visit to Washington last week.

The two companies surveyed 10,000 adults of all ages and found that boosters restored protection against symptomatic infections to about 95%, even during the proliferation of highly infectious delta variants. It’s too early to know if that high level of protection will last longer after the third shot than after the second, Sahin said the company will track carefully.

To support that evidence, the UK released real-world data this week showing that protection has made a similar leap after starting to provide boosters to middle-aged and older adults. Israel has trusted a wide range of boosters to help defeat another wave of viruses in its country.

More than 195 million Americans have been fully vaccinated and are defined as having received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Over 30 million people have already been boosted.

Prior to expansion, Pfizer or Moderna vaccinated persons are eligible for a third vaccination if they are elderly or at high risk of COVID-19 due to health problems or work or living conditions. had. A single J & J shot has not proven to be as effective as a double-dose competitor, so J & J recipients can get a booster after at least two months.

However, many vaccination sites do not check eligibility, so people who do not meet the criteria often get additional shots.

The FDA has previously determined that those who get a booster can receive a different brand than the vaccine they originally received.

Some experts are worried that all attention to boosters may hurt efforts to reach 60 million Americans who are eligible for vaccination but have not been vaccinated. increase. There is also growing concern that rich countries offer a wide range of boosters when poor countries are unable to vaccinate more than a small part of their population.

Dr. David Daudi of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said:


The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Science Education Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.





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