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US Health Service Keeps Biden Waiting for Booster Vaccine Decision

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The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is likely to decide on Thursday about which Americans can receive a third Pfizer vaccine and when, The New York Times writes. President Joe Biden had actually planned to start rolling out the third shots this week.

 

Pfizer and BioNTech had asked to approve the so-called booster shot for people over 16 who had their last vaccine dose at least six months ago. However, an independent advisory committee of drug watchdog FDA found that going too far. Instead, they advised only giving extra shots to people over 65 and people from vulnerable groups.

The CDC must now decide who exactly belongs to such a high-risk group. It will ultimately depend on whether a large proportion of Americans will soon be able to receive a booster or whether only a minimal part of the population is eligible for it, concludes The New York Times.

Research in Israel showed that many people lose their protection against the virus after months, but that a third shot increases the protection again. The FDA’s Investigative Committee concluded that while protection is declining, two vaccinations still protect enough against severe symptoms and hospitalizations from Covid-19.

Therefore, only people with health risks could benefit from a booster shot because they could still become very ill from the coronavirus.

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