Millions of Americans may be eligible for the Covid Vaccine Booster

More than five million Americans could be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine boosters by end of September as part of the Biden administration...


More than five million Americans could be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine boosters by end of September as part of the Biden administration’s plan to fight Delta variant of the coronavirus by administering additional doses eight months after the initial vaccinations.

But the plan depends on several crucial steps that will take place in the coming weeks. More importantly, the Food and Drug Administration should decide that third injections are safe and effective for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the two vaccines that were deployed first and were used the most.

Pfizer is more advanced in submitting data to the FDA that it believes supports the use of boosters. Moderna and the National Institutes of Health are still investigating whether a half or full dose would work better for a third injection, but expect results soon. Moderna chief executive St├ęphane Bancel said the company plans to submit its data to the FDA in September.

Administration officials are due to announce the strategy during a White House briefing on Wednesday. Retirement home residents, Health workers and rescuers would probably be on the front line, as they were with the first shots. Other seniors would come next, followed by the rest of the general population.

Authorities are considering giving people the same vaccine they originally received and using pharmacies as key distribution points.

Administration officials are discouraging people from seeking booster doses themselves, noting that the FDA has yet to rule on their safety and effectiveness. They hope to roll out additional injections in an orderly fashion so that people get a booster shot when it is recommended, and not just based on their own fears.

Dr Danny Avula, Vaccine Coordinator for the state of Virginia, said his state already has thousands of vaccine suppliers and can probably handle recalls without much change. “What caused so much urgency and frenzy from January to April was the supply limitations,” he said.

Today, the government has more than 100 million doses in storage that could be used for recalls, as well as tens of millions of additional doses that have already been delivered to pharmacies and other places. Even more supply is slated for delivery this fall.

In interviews Tuesday, hospital officials and doctors were generally in favor of promoting booster injections.

“I think we’re running out of second chances,” said Dr Matthew Harris, medical director of the coronavirus vaccination program at Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system. “What keeps me awake at night is the inevitability of a variant that does not respond to the vaccine, so if this is how we stay ahead of the curve, I fully support it.”

Federal officials plan to offer additional injections to recipients of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, as well as those who have received Moderna or Pfizer. But the government didn’t start offering the vaccine until March, and only 14 million people received it. In comparison, 155 million people have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna.

Data from a Johnson & Johnson clinical trial in which participants received two doses will likely be submitted to the FDA later this month and should guide the government’s recommendation on this vaccine.

At Wednesday’s briefing, administration officials plan to argue that a recall strategy is essential even if it needs to be changed as new data arrives. They are expected to present data showing that the vaccine’s efficacy is generally declining against viral infections, even though unvaccinated people remain constitute the vast majority of those who become seriously ill or are hospitalized from Covid.

The administration fears that without boosters, more people vaccinated could suffer from severe Covid disease in the coming months due to a dual trend: the more potent impact of the Delta variant and the decreased protection of the vaccines.

Data from the Israeli Ministry of Health is seen as a warning sign. This suggests that protection against viral infection in June and July decreased in proportion to the time since an individual was vaccinated. According to a data set, the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against serious illness fell to 55% for people 65 years of age or older who were vaccinated in January. But the margins of error were wide, and experts said other data looked less worrisome.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Millions of Americans may be eligible for the Covid Vaccine Booster
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