An international group of vaccine experts has raised opposition to booster injections (booster) a COVID-19 vaccine for the general public, an argument against increased efforts in the US and countries struggling to cope with a surge in new cases.
In an essay published Monday (14/9) in the medical journal The Lancet, experts say recent studies have shown that the vaccine currently in use worldwide continues to provide strong protection against the coronavirus despite the more transmissible delta variant.
Tendency to give booster The COVID-19 vaccine was initiated following a study from Israel that showed the effectiveness of Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine decreased significantly among the elderly who were vaccinated earlier this year. The data prompted Israel to start giving injections booster for people 50 years of age and over.
The authors state that modifying the vaccine to suit a particular variant of COVID-19 is a better approach than administering an additional dose of the initial vaccine.
The authors of the essays include two leading scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO), Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo and Soumya Swaminathan, and Dr. Marian Gruber and Dr. Philip Krause, two of the top officials in the vaccine evaluation office at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will leave their positions before the end of this year. The New York Times recently reported that Gruber and Krause were disappointed by the Biden administration’s recent announcement that booster injections would be offered to some Americans starting next month, before the FDA had time to properly evaluate the data.
The FDA is close to reaching a decision on whether to recommend a COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 years of age and under and a booster shot of the vaccine has now been approved for administration to American adults.
The FDA and the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month both recommended a third injection of Pfizer or Moderna for some people with weakened immune systems.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently appealed to rich countries not to give injections booster COVID-19 vaccine for the remainder of the year to ensure that low- and low-middle-income countries have even greater access to vaccines. Tedros has previously asked high- and middle-high-income countries not to provide booster that’s until September.
UK PM Boris Johnson is ready to announce on Wednesday (15/9) that his government will provide booster COVID-19 vaccine for residents aged 50 years and over to face the coming winter months.
Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin is self-isolating after several members of his visiting entourage tested positive for COVID-19, the Kremlin said in a statement.
President Putin tested negative for COVID-19, but has decided not to visit Tajikistan for an upcoming security conference, the statement said. He Monday met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and held a separate public event with several members of the Russian Paralympic team.
Putin has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with his domestically produced two-dose vaccine, Sputnik V. [uh/ab]