The United States has expanded the COVID-19 booster qualification for all adults by Reuters


Reuters. File photo: A patient receives their coronavirus vaccine (COVID-19) vaccine booster during a Pfizer-Biotech vaccination clinic on September 29, 2021, in Southfield, Michigan, USA. REUTERS / Emily Elconin


(This November 19 story was corrected in the last paragraph as 60% of Americans were fully vaccinated)

By Michael Erman and Manas Mishra

(Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Friday extended eligibility for booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults, allowing millions more Americans to receive additional protection against the virus amid a recent infection surge.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, signed the extension on Friday evening after the US Food and Drug Administration extended approval to give booster doses to all adults who received a second shot of Pfizer /. Bioentech or Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 inc vaccine at least six months ago.

Regulators previously approved the booster two months after giving the initial dose to all recipients of the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE 🙂 one-dose vaccine.

“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase human protection against infection and serious consequences, and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays,” Walensky said in a statement.

Most adults were already eligible for extra shots, but received less than 18%, according to CDC data. But many public health officials felt that previous eligibility requirements were too complex.

“The current guidelines – albeit well-intentioned and thoughtful – create a barrier to taking boosters. In the pursuit of accuracy, they create confusion,” said Nirav Shah, a senior public health official and president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. .

“Our concern is that qualified people are not getting boosters right now,” Shah said.

According to a spokesman for the agency, the CDC is not saying that all adults should receive a booster. For 18- to 49-year-olds, the agency says people can get the vaccine if they choose.

The CDC also moved to clarify the recommendations for people between the ages of 50 and 64, suggesting that everyone in this age group should receive a booster, rather than just those with an underlying medical condition who are at risk.

The agency’s guidelines reflected the recommendations unanimously supported by a panel of CDC advisers earlier in the day.

Sue on growth

After nearly two months of declining infections, the United States has reported a daily increase over the past two weeks, driven by the more easily spread delta form of the virus, and people are spending more time indoors because of the cold weather.

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, said the guidelines are not enough to encourage booster doses.

The United States could face a major wave of COVID-19 cases this winter, Topol said, and protection is now declining.

“We’re sitting ducks,” he said

The country’s top infectious disease specialist said. Anthony Fawcett said this week The boosters, along with the overall vaccine increase, will help the country overcome its worst epidemic in the coming months.

The FDA said its decision was supported by data showing that third-round shots enhanced the virus’s resistance to modern and Pfizer / biotech vaccine studies.

Some scientists are concerned about the rare occurrence of heartburn in young men after vaccination, especially for those receiving the modern vaccine. Data from Israel suggest a rate of heart inflammation following the third dose Pfizer (NYSE 🙂 The vaccine is low after a second dose.

The Biden administration first offered boosters for everyone in August, but made them available in phases because health experts argued that there was not enough data to support the need for more vaccinations across all groups.

More than 32 million Americans have received Booster, which was approved for immunocompromised, 65-year-olds and people with health problems that put them at high risk for serious diseases, including obesity, or those who are regularly exposed to the virus. Through work or living conditions.

About 60% of Americans who are thought to be fully vaccinated have received either two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or one shot of the J&J vaccine.

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