Biden urges those eligible for a Pfizer booster to get one soon

President Biden said on Friday that coronavirus booster injections for millions of Americans who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vacci...

President Biden said on Friday that coronavirus booster injections for millions of Americans who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will begin immediately and urged those eligible for a third injection to get one quickly to boost their protection against the dangerous Delta variant that swept across the country this summer.

Mr Biden spoke just hours after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rescinded a recommendation from his agency’s group of scientific advisers who had refused to approve booster injections of the Pfizer Covid vaccine for frontline workers.

The highly unusual move by director Dr. Rochelle Walensky brought CDC policy on Food and Drug Administration approvals in line with her own agency advisers, and cleared a Pfizer booster for many recipients who are fully inoculated with this vaccine at least six months after their second dose. These groups of people include the elderly, many people with underlying health conditions, and frontline workers – like teachers and nurses – whose jobs put them at higher risk of contracting the disease.

“My message today is this: if you have the Pfizer vaccine, you received the Pfizer vaccine in January, February, March of this year and you are over 65, go get a booster,” he said. he said. “Or, if you have a disease like diabetes, or if you are a frontline worker like a healthcare worker or teacher, you can get a free booster.”

President did not respond to criticism the White House received for moving ahead of regulatory process after announcing a plan for the Pfizer and Moderna boosters in mid-August, nor the internal disagreement in his administration on the need for boosters. Over the weeks, many independent scientists and regulators had pointed out that there was little research on who might benefit from the additional injections. Finally the plan to quickly provide boosters Moderna has been discontinued, to give the FDA more time to collect and review the data. And science advisers at the FDA and CDC struggled last week over who should get Pfizer boosters and why.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday rrecommended Pfizer boosters for a wide range of Americans, including tens of millions of elderly and young people at high risk of contracting the disease. But they excluded healthcare workers, teachers and others whose jobs put them at risk. This had put their recommendations at odds with the FDA’s authorization of booster injections for all adults at high occupational risk, until Dr. Walensky’s decision.

FDA and CDC science advisers have not been asked to judge whether people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines should receive additional doses, booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have not been asked. not approved by the FDA

CDC advisers also looked at the practicalities of approving a recall for Pfizer-BioNTech beneficiaries alone, when nearly half of Americans vaccinated received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

When asked on Friday what he would say to people who disregard the new CDC guidelines and get vaccinated despite being ineligible, Mr Biden urged patience. Many Americans have already scrambled to get boosters even before federal regulators approve it this week, usually by finding a cooperative pharmacist or pretending to be unvaccinated.

“You’re going to see that in the short term we’re probably going to open this up anyway,” he said, also referring to Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. “We are also looking at when we can expand the booster shots, basically at all levels. So I would just say it would be better to wait your turn in the queue, wait your turn to get there.

Moderna’s recall authorization can arrive in a few days to a few weeks. The company asked the FDA for clearance of a booster carrying half the dose given in the first two injections, complicating the agency’s deliberations.

Some global health experts have criticized the Biden administration for pushing the booster shots when much of the world has yet to receive a first dose. But analysts noted that even if the United States distributes booster shots, there is still expected to be a sizable vaccine surplus this year, and they urged the government to start sending the extra doses overseas.

In his remarks, Mr Biden further complained about resistance to the vaccine.

“This is because despite the fact that Americans have an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 places, we still have over 70 million Americans who don’t get a single injection. ” he said. “And to make matters worse, there are elected officials who are actively working to undermine the fight against Covid-19 with false information. “

“It is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Dan Levin contributed reporting.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden urges those eligible for a Pfizer booster to get one soon
Biden urges those eligible for a Pfizer booster to get one soon
Newsrust - US Top News
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