Fauci, others: Booster push has only just begun, more decisions to come
U.S. health officials said on Sunday that “the story is not over” after Food and Drug Administration advisers rejected pressure from President Biden to provide everyone with COVID booster shots. 19, saying the incoming data could prompt regulators to expand the campaign despite measures to limit additional doses to a high level – risk Americans for now.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that the FDA advisory committee had made a “good” and “good” decision to support third doses for the elderly, the elderly. medically fragile people and health workers. But he said those same advisers will receive ongoing reports from Israel, the United States and other countries this year to determine whether more people need a third dose.
“The data literally comes in on a daily and weekly basis,” Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “They’re going to keep watching this, literally in real time.”
Dr Fauci’s boss, National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, said the councilors’ decision was a “start,” but they would likely expand the program in the coming months.
“They were not yet convinced that the data required it for younger people who are not at high risk. But I think some of the data that we see coming, especially from Israel, tells me it’s likely they will, ”he told CBS’s“ Face the Nation ”. “But certainly, I think there will be a decision in the coming weeks to expand the boosters beyond the list they approved on Friday.”
On August 18, Biden said he plans to allow anyone who has received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna to receive a third dose eight months after receiving their second dose. He said the program was subject to regulatory approval, but announced a start date for the program of September 20 to help localities prepare.
The decision to set a date appeared to be ahead of regulators, causing confusion and controversy.
Councilors voted on Friday, 16 to 2, to reject Pfizer’s request for widespread recalls, saying they needed more data on the general population. The move was seen as a stern rebuke of Mr Biden’s ambitions, but his senior health officials turned it around on Sunday by opening the door to a recall program.
The FDA panel approved Pfizer boosters for people 65 years of age and older, those at high risk of severe COVID-19 at least six months after receiving their second dose. The advisers also said healthcare workers and others in high-risk jobs should be included in the emergency use authorization.
The FDA is free to reject the recommendation, but the agency tends to take the panel’s advice.
“The FDA absolutely shouldn’t ignore them,” Dr. Fauci told CNN, saying many people will still receive recalls. “You will attract a good part of the population. “
Evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines still protect against serious illness. Still, Biden officials are pushing the boosters because they fear signs of declining immunity from initial doses.
William Gruber, senior vice president of clinical vaccine research and development at Pfizer, said surveillance data shows decreased protection between five and 10 months after two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. If protection drops below 70% around five months, he said it should drop below 60% at 10 months. A third dose provides a “substantial boost” against the delta variant, similar to the original coronavirus strain, and recipients have had comparable reactions to the second dose of the vaccine, he told counselors at the FDA.
Advisors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have their say on the boosters later this week.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will be guided by what it means to be at high risk and in need of a booster. For example, they might say that teachers should get vaccinated, especially if they are working with children under 12 who are not eligible for vaccines.
Dr Fauci also said regulators will receive more data to discuss recalls for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the coming weeks.
“They are by no means left behind,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
Dr Collins said the NIH is also trying to determine if people can mix and match by getting a recall from a different drug manufacturer than the one who made their initial dose (s).
The FDA has previously approved booster shots for people with weakened immune systems. Some people are said to be freelancing and looking for booster shots even if they haven’t been approved for their cohort, claiming to come forward for the first time.
Dr Fauci said it was “unlikely” that looking for a booster would be dangerous, but it’s still not a good idea to look for them outside of the process.
Even though he touts the recalls, Biden is using employer mandates to try to increase initial vaccination rates before the colder months when respiratory illnesses tend to proliferate.
About 55% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, and about a quarter of those eligible for vaccines – over 70 million people – have refused to receive at least one dose so far.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday that Biden was forcing workers to choose between a “hit in the arm and their ability to feed their families” to distract from growing political issues at home and abroad. foreigner.
Mr Reeves’ state has the worst COVID-19 death rate in the country, but he said Mr Biden was overstepping by demanding the vaccine for millions of health workers and ordering Occupational Safety and Health Administration to impose fines on large companies that don’t mandate weekly virus injections or tests.
“He knows he doesn’t have the power to do it in my opinion, but he wants to change the political discourse away from Afghanistan and away from other issues that are driving his poll numbers into the ground,” Mr. Reeves, a Republican, told CNN.
He said his state was ready to sue once it saw OSHA rule and people on the “left” should be afraid as well, after the president’s terms reached the private sector.
“What powers do we not give this president? What doesn’t he have the capacity to do? Mr Reeves said.
Mr Biden is rampant as the United States reports about 145,000 new infections per day over an average of 7 days, according to CDC’s Dr Sara Oliver. Speaking to the FDA panel, she noted that more than 660,000 in the United States have died from COVID-19 with around 1,300 new deaths each day over an average of 7 days.
Dr Fauci said widespread immunization from the two-dose vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna or the one-dose version of J&J is vital in controlling the pandemic.
“That doesn’t mean it’s the optimal diet. The optimal regimen might be three injections for everyone, ”he said. “But for now, based on the data that has been reviewed by the advisory committee, their decision, which I respect, is to follow the path we just said, with some limitations.”
Dr Fauci, who is 80, said he will receive his third dose after government agencies finalize the plan for high-risk groups.
“I will definitely have a booster,” Dr. Fauci said.