The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved Covid-19 booster shots for all adults over the age of 18 amid concerns about a surge in cases ahead of winter.
It paves the way for the nationwide rollout of the booster program after months of debate over policy, following a unanimous vote at the Health Organization’s Vaccine Commission on Friday.
The Biden administration has prioritized the rollout of booster jabs to all adults in the coming weeks and ahead of the holiday season to curb the feared increase in Covid-19 cases. Nationally, cases of Covid-19 have increased by 28% in the last two weeks, according to the CDC, largely driven by a sharp increase in the Midwest and Northeast.
Initially promised to start widespread use of boosters in September, concern Given the low vaccination rates in developing countries, the approval of the general public has been delayed among scientists as to whether it is necessary or desirable.
US regulators have previously recommended Moderna and Pfizer messenger RNA (mRNA) booster shots to people in underlying health or at high risk of being exposed to the virus due to work or living conditions. The Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine booster was already approved two months after the initial dose.
According to CDC data, about 16% of fully vaccinated individuals are already boosted. The majority of people who were first vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna chose the same vaccine for their boosters, but more than two-thirds of those who were first vaccinated with the J & J vaccine were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna boosters. It was likely.
Public health experts have become increasingly concerned that breakthrough infections will increase when immunity to Covid-19 weakens 6 to 8 months after the first vaccination.
Critics also warn of constant change Eligibility The standard for booster shots is that vaccine hesitation is a major issue and risks confusing Americans who are fully vaccinated in only 60% of the population.
Early on Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration recommended that all adults have access to booster shots.
Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the available scientific data supports the deployment of single-dose booster shots for adults.
“Rationalizing eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals over the age of 18 eliminates confusion about who can receive booster doses and all that require booster doses. It also helps ensure that people can use it, “he said.
Prior to booster approval, President Joe Biden announced this week a public-private partnership aimed at expanding vaccine production capacity in the United States a billion times by late 2022. Increased capacity will prevent future pandemics, officials said.
This initiative follows bitter criticism of the booster program developed by the World Health Organization by rich countries. The World Health Organization is calling for instead injecting vaccine doses into developing countries with low vaccination rates.
WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described last week as a “scandal to stop” the rollout of booster programs in developed countries.
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