In review, top FDA scientists question impending need for booster shots

Federal health officials have said one reason they announced the booster plan was to stay ahead of the virus and prepare for it when vaccines can no longer protect against even severe cases of COVID-19. Mr. Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony S. Those officials, including Fauci, have relied heavily on data presented to them by Israeli officials who have defended that country’s initial, aggressive booster campaign.

His data, Dr. Fauci and other administration officials have said, with increased protection from booster doses, show a clear lack of immunity against infection, but only those under 65 years of age who are immune to hospitalization with signs of reduced immunity. show.

But in the new review, Dr. Krauss, Dr. Gruber and other vaccine experts said more time and public discussion, and better studies, were needed to determine whether a booster is needed for the general population. He also said that whatever benefits the shots may provide, they will not outweigh the benefits of using them to protect the billions of people who live unvaccinated around the world.

World Health Organization asked Wealthy countries should stop giving extra shots to healthy patients at least until the end of the year as a way of enabling every country to vaccinate at least 40 percent of its population. Scientists warn that each uninfected person presents an opportunity for the virus to mutate into new, potentially dangerous, forms.

However, the review authors noted that additional shots may be useful for some people with weakened immune systems — a step the FDA has taken. already authorized.

“As more information becomes available, this may provide the first evidence that promotion is needed in certain subpopulations,” they wrote. “However, these high-stakes decisions should be based on peer-reviewed and publicly available data and strong international scientific discussion.”

They were largely dismissing Israeli data and other studies, which some health officials have said make the case for additional shots imminent. He added that some Israeli evidence was collected a week or two after the third dose and may not have occurred over time, and that “a very short-term protective effect would not necessarily imply a long-term benefit.”

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