This is the week when President Joe Biden announced that a huge COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign would begin, intending to reach every individual in the country who has been vaccinated. Instead, at home and abroad, the boosting effort has been dogged by criticism and confusion.
After a month of controversy in which top FDA scientists resigned and outside medical experts complained that the White House appeared to be pressuring the agency to greenlight booster shots for everyone, FDA advisers decided to recommend booster shots only for those over 65 or at special risk, rather than Biden's public preference of everyone 16 and older.
Medical experts questioned Biden's choice to set a public timetable for the broad availability of booster shots, and he was chastised once again. Last month, Biden and his senior public health officials made the very uncommon disclosure before the FDA's regular review process. Those aged 16 and up will begin receiving booster shots this week, according to the statement.
FDA rejects Biden's plan
However, a panel of FDA advisors voted on Friday to reject the idea, stating that boosters should only be given to senior citizens and those at high risk of infection, as per NBC News. In a televised address, Biden outlined the strategy and timeframe. Still, White House officials have attempted to separate him from the effort in recent days, stressing that the decision was taken by his top health officials, including the interim FDA commissioner and the director of the CDC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci stated on Sunday that he was not disappointed by an FDA panel's rejection of a plan to begin administering broad COVID-19 vaccine boosters last week and that he hoped to clear up some of the public's misconceptions about boosters. Fauci said the White House's top pandemic advisor and a third injection may still be allowed if fresh evidence indicates it is effective, MarketWatch via MSN reported.
When challenged by Martha Raddatz of ABC's "This Week" about the public misunderstanding over whether and when most people will get a booster, Fauci replied that people need to understand how the process works. Fauci said that he anticipates the vaccine being authorized for children aged 5 to 11 in the fall.
President Joe Biden's proposal to roll out boosters to the majority of Americans by September 20 has generated heated discussion over whether he is getting ahead of the scientific data and has divided regulators and their outside consultants. While the Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve Pfizer and BioNTech booster shots in the coming days, it is unclear who will be eligible to get them.
Several states were confused of federal government's booster plan
On Friday, the CDC's independent vaccine advisory group rejected a plan to give the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and above in favor of a narrower approach that would only provide doses to those over 65 and those at high risk of severe illness.
Per POLITICO, although federal public health authorities are still debating who and when to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster, several states are pushing forward independently. President Joe Biden's proposal to roll out boosters to the majority of Americans by September 20 has generated heated discussion over whether he is getting ahead of the scientific data and has divided regulators and their outside advisers.
While the Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve booster injections from Pfizer and BioNTech in the coming days, it is unclear which groups will be allowed to receive them. On Friday, the CDC's independent vaccine advisory group rejected a plan to give the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and above in favor of a narrower approach that would only provide doses to those over 65 and those at high risk of severe illness.
As the highly infectious Delta variant rips throughout the country, a combination of strong state action and health professionals' resistance to Biden's proposal has exacerbated confusion over who needs boosters now. Outside of the limited population of critically immunocompromised people who already qualify for the vaccines, some doctors are already suggesting or providing boosters to patients.