Report: Biden Admin May Suggest Second Booster for Older Americans

The Biden administration may suggest a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for Americans over the age of 50 in the next week, the New York Times reported Friday.

According to the report, the administration will simply “suggest” that older Americans get the second booster shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine instead of “recommending” it like it did in the past for the first booster.

A February report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said emergency room, urgent care, and hospitalizations were lower for those who had a third dose of a vaccine, compared to those who had just two doses, showing that the booster dose was very effective right after getting the shot.

That rate dropped as much as 12% 3 to 4 months out.

Meanwhile, studies from countries that have offered a second booster are still in the early stages, with results not becoming available until May or June, which could impact the decision for adults overall.

According to the report, the administration is hesitant on making the shots available for all adults because it is not yet clear how severe the spread of the disease will be in the fall, compared to the summer, and if doses administered now to younger Americans would be wasted, should a more contagious and severe variant appear later in the year.

While the omicron BA.2 variant is currently responsible for about a third of all U.S. COVID-19 cases, the report said that health officials do not anticipate a major surge in infections.

Suggesting that Americans above age 50 get the second booster shot as soon as they are eligible may be more prudent because three quarters of all COVID deaths in the country took place in Americans aged 65 and over, who were more vulnerable to the disease, the report said.

While the Food and Drug Administration may approve the second booster for older Americans next week, there are no scheduled meetings of advisory groups at the FDA or CDC to debate the need for the second boosters, which some in the healthcare community find troubling.

“This is a complex decision that involves a pretty deep dive, and I think it would really benefit from public discussion,” Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, a former chief scientist at the F.D.A. told the Times. “I would not want to see an advisory committee skipped on this.”

While the scientific community is split on the need for a second booster shot, the Biden administration is also strapped for the cash needed to pay for doses in advance of a possible fall outbreak.

According to the report, it currently has more than 131 million doses, which could handle a second round of booster shots now, but then possibly dry up should a major wave of infections comes later.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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