August 19, 2021

8 months after Pfizer, Moderna vax, the US recommends booster injections

Vaccine boosters were advised by the US on Wednesday for those eight months after finishing the two-round Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA regimens.

Following an independent assessment by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and dosage recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the booster distribution plan anticipates starting on September 20.

Boosters will stay free, and Jeff Zients, the Covid-19 response coordinator for US President Joe Biden, said they would be as accessible as the first injections that are still being given out in the US.

According to a joint statement from US health authorities who took particular notice of the emergence of the highly infectious delta form, current evidence shows vaccination protection against infection wanes with time, as does vaccine protection against mild and moderate health consequences from the virus.

“According to our most recent assessment, current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death may wane in the months ahead, particularly among those who are at higher risk or who were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout,” top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services said (HHS).

The decision is a slap to the World Health Organization, which advocated for a worldwide booster embargo only two weeks earlier in order to promote better international vaccination equality.

The US has dismissed the request, claiming that it can provide booster doses to its people while continuing to provide vaccinations globally and preserving its position as the world’s leader in foreign delivery.

The option between providing the US and other countries, according to Surgeon General Vivek Murphy, is a false dichotomy that the Biden administration does not accept.

“We think that, as we have done in the past, we must continue to work on both fronts. However, when we see data that essentially indicates that protection is beginning to wane in terms of mild and moderate disease, and we recognize that if this trajectory continues, people who are currently well-protected may become more vulnerable in the future, we must act “He told reporters about it.

Even though the US is also providing another vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, the advice only applies to individuals who finished the two-round series of injections for Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccinations. Health officials are currently analyzing data to determine when individuals who got the vaccination would need a booster, although they are expected to do so in the future.

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, which started distributing vaccines in December, Johnson & Johnson didn’t start giving them out until March.

The need for a temporary moratorium has been revived.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus reiterated his demand for a ban on booster vaccinations on Wednesday in Geneva, in order to transfer supplies to countries where vaccines are not available.

Tedros stated at a press conference in Geneva that just ten nations had administered 75 percent of the vaccine supplies and that low-income countries had only immunized 2% of their population.

“I asked for a temporary ban on boosters to assist transfer supplies to nations who haven’t been able to vaccinate their health professionals or at-risk populations and are now seeing significant increases,” Tedros said.

Before boosters are rolled out, he says it’s essential to get first shots and protect the most susceptible.

“If manufacturers and leaders prioritize booster shots oversupply to low- and middle-income nations, the gap between the haves and have nots will only widen,” warned the global health head.

In an interconnected globe, he added, it’s not in governments’ best interests to concentrate on “narrow nationalistic objectives” while the coronavirus is quickly changing.

South African news astounded me.

“In this context, the news that J&J (Johnson & Johnson) vaccinations filled and completed in South Africa are leaving the continent and heading to Europe, where practically all adults have been given immunizations at this time,” the WHO director-general stated.

Tedros asked Johnson & Johnson to make vaccination distribution a top priority before considering supply to wealthy nations that already have enough access.

On Aug. 4, the WHO director-general asked for a moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots until the end of September to allow at least 10% of the world’s population to get vaccinated.

Strong leadership, he added, should be committed to vaccination equality, saving lives, and limiting the spread of variations.

He believes that the world has to do a better job of sharing resources and health tools.

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