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People over the age of 50 may soon be eligible for a second booster immunization with the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve additional boosters without holding a meeting of independent vaccine advisors.
This plan will come true as protection from 3 shots weakens and there is more evidence that 4 shots help restore immunity. Concerns are also rising as BA.2, a more contagious version of the Omicron variant, continues to spread in the United States. It could fuel another surge.
“Many people have been at least four to six months old since their third shot,” said Dr. Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, who supports the move.
“Without protection against Omicron variants, the risk of hospitalization and death is very high, especially since we are currently facing BA.2,” he says.
But others are questioning the plan. Vaccines still do a good job of protecting people from serious illness. Critics say that another shot is needed and there is still not enough evidence that it provides stronger protection that lasts.
“From a scientific point of view, there is still no clear evidence that giving a second boost is the right way to go to the elderly,” said Celine Gowner, an infectious disease specialist and senior fellow and editor of Kaiser Health. Dr. says news.
She says data from Israel show that additional booster immunity reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death in people over the age of 60. However, she points out that it is unclear how long that additional protection will actually last.
“I don’t think it hurts,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease researcher at Emory University, told NPR. He also cites Israeli data showing the interests of people over the age of 60.
Government officials say it’s important to give people the option of a second booster as soon as possible. Plans to provide it to people under the age of 60 can suffer from more vulnerable people, especially other health. There is also an additional booster option for the issue of endangering them, which was done to ensure people with high color.
However, other infectious disease experts say the administration should focus on giving people their primary dose and initial booster immunity.
“My concern is that we are not investing in expanding the scope of booster doses and even primary doses,” said Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale University Institute for Global Health. .. caution. “
Unlike previous approvals, the FDA is not expected to recommend a second booster to everyone, but it is expected to offer an option to anyone who wants it.