FDA allows Covid-19 booster injections for all adults

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Covid-19 booster shot for all adults over the age of 18 amid concerns about a surge in new cases ahead of winter.

The decision comes ahead of a panel discussion by experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Friday, which is expected to give the green light for the expansion. enhancement program after months of debate over policy.

The Biden administration is making it a priority to roll out booster shots for all adults in an effort to alleviate the worrying spike in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks leading up to the holiday season.

It initially promised to begin extensive administration of the booster in September, but concerns among scientists as to whether it is necessary or desirable, given the low vaccination rates in developing countries, that authorization for the general population is delayed.

US regulators have previously recommended Moderna and Pfizer’s messenger RNA (mRNA) booster vaccines for people with underlying health conditions or whose jobs or living conditions put them at risk. high exposure to the virus. It approved a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine two months after the initial dose.

Public health experts are increasingly concerned that a decline in immunity to Covid-19 six to eight months after initial vaccination is leading to an increase in breakthrough infections.

Critics have also warned of constant change eligible The criteria for booster shots threaten to confuse people in the US, where vaccine hesitancy is a big problem with only 60% of the population fully immunized.

Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biological Evaluation and Research, said the available scientific data support the development of single-dose booster shots for adults.

Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will also help eliminate confusion about who might get it, he said. dose booster and make sure everyone who may need a booster dose.

Ahead of the boosters’ clearance, President Joe Biden this week announced a public-private partnership to expand vaccine production capacity in the US by 1 billion doses by the second half of 2022. Some doses could be sent abroad to boost vaccination rates while officials said the capacity would be to fight future pandemics.

The initiative follows harsh criticism of wealthy nations’ ramp-up programs launched by the World Health Organization, which has called for doses of the vaccine to instead be delivered to developing countries, where vaccination rates are low.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, described the rollout of ramp-up programs in rich countries last week as “a scandal that must be stopped”.

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