US health officials call for booster shots against COVID-19 for above 65

U.S. Officials Expressing Concerns Over Declining Immunity Against COVID-19: Providing Booster Shots To Adults Over The Age Of 65

The Biden administration’s plan to administer Covid-19 immunization boosters is premised on concerns that a decline in the vaccines’ capacity to protect against mild diseases may result in individuals having less protection against grave illness, a notion that scientists say has yet to be verified.

On Wednesday, U.S. officials announced that boosters would be widely available beginning September 20. The data claims that there is declining protection against mild and moderate sickness from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines more than six months after inoculation. Hence people who received their first vaccination at least eight months ago will be eligible for the extra dose, the officials added.

Booster shots for all

ABCNews.com reported, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told reporters, “Recent data makes clear that protection against mild and moderate disease has decreased over time. This is likely due to both waning immunity and the strength of the widespread Delta variant.” 

According to recent data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, about 74% of the 8,054 immunized patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were over 65. About 20% of those instances resulted in deaths. Based on known vaccine protection information, it is still uncertain if younger, healthier people will be at threat.

Several countries have opted to give booster shots to people over 65 and those with compromised immune systems. Officials from the European Union stated on Wednesday that they do not think booster shots should be given to the general public.

According to experts, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a team of outside advisers to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must thoroughly review the U.S. plan. The CDC announced on Thursday on its website that a meeting of the advisers to discuss boosters scheduled for August 24 will be rescheduled.

However, Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, criticized booster shots and called it “a mockery of vaccine equity” for the citizens.

Moeti is not the first to have expressed concerns over the booster jabs; WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus requested a halt in administering booster shots earlier in the month. He claimed that the move would assure that at least 10% of the population from every country would be vaccinated.

Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, epidemiologist and adjunct professor at Cornell University Public Health, said, “In reality, you should be vaccinating the rest of the world to avoid new variants.”

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