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Covid Booster Shot research is inconsistent

Friday’s Food and Drug Administration adviser must face a variety of embarrassing scientific questions. Pfizer-Before deciding whether to approve BioNTech Corona Virus Vaccine Booster Shot — If so, for whom.

Three important studies have landed this week.An international team of scientists in the journal The Lancet on Monday Analyzing dozens of studies And boosters are not yet needed by the general public, and the world will be better served by using vaccine doses to protect billions of unvaccinated people. I concluded that.

Two of the authors are FDA’s own vaccine experts, both of whom have already announced plans to resign after feeling excessive pressure from the Biden administration to clear booster shots.

On Wednesday, agency scientists Post a rating online They also imply that they are not convinced that there is sufficient evidence that boosters are needed. “Overall, the data show that the Covid-19 vaccine currently licensed or licensed in the United States still provides protection against severe Covid-19 disease and death in the United States,” they said. Stated. executive summary..

White House officials said they were particularly concerned about data from Israel, which officials said the vaccinated people were seeing a decline in immune response and an increase in infection rates. Warning of the increase in cases, Israeli authorities provided a third dose of the vaccine to all persons over the age of 12.

Israeli researchers published early results of their deployment in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, but few outside scientists found compelling findings.

The team collected data on the effectiveness of booster shots from the health records of more than 1.1 million people over the age of 60. At least 12 days after the booster, the infection rate was reduced by a factor of 11 and the incidence of severe illness was reduced by a factor of about 20. Researchers found people who received boosters compared to those who received only two doses.

According to experts, the results are not surprising and do not show long-term benefits.

credit…Amr Alfiky /

Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at the Bellevue Hospital Center and a former adviser to the Biden administration, said: “It is not controversial to recommend additional vaccines to the elderly.”

According to experts, in all studies published so far, vaccination remains strongly protected against serious illness and hospitalization in the majority of people. However, the vaccine does not appear to be very potent against infections in people of all ages, especially those exposed to the highly contagious delta variant.

Cumulative data to date suggests that only older people will be needed booster — And maybe even those. However, White House officials say they don’t want to wait for hospitalizations to begin to increase among vaccinated people before taking action.

The Biden administration says booster doses can be deployed quickly if the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem it necessary. The CDC Advisory Board will meet next week to address the question.

British scientist A third dose is recommended for adults over 50 and other medically vulnerable people.France, Germany, Denmark, Spain We are also considering boosters for the elderly Or you have already started managing them. Israel is already considering a fourth dose for its population.

However, recent history has made many experts worried about adding the United States to the list.

Dr. Luciana Borio, a former FDA Deputy Chief Scientist, criticized the Biden administration for announcing booster plans before federal scientists examined the evidence.

The Trump administration has pressured FDA scientists to approve, for example, hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma, but there was not enough evidence to support either treatment. “It seems to me that there was a process foul in the way we made those decisions,” said Dr. Borio.

“We need an FDA where people have the ability to make these decisions and make those decisions independently on the basis of science alone. If this changes, we all lose. . “

Covid Booster Shot research is inconsistent

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