U.S. experts in favor of third-party vaccination for the elderly and at-risk groups

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A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expert panel recommends booster vaccinations with Biontech/Pfizer’s drug only for the elderly and at-risk groups. The influential group of scientists concluded yesterday, after hours of discussion, that available data did not justify a universal rollout of a third dose of the vaccine to people older than 16. But for seniors over 65 and members of at-risk groups, a third dose would make sense, they said.

U.S. President Joe Biden had advocated another dose for anyone whose second vaccination was more than eight months ago, given waning immunity to Covid-19.

“Studies to date show no need”
Most recently, however, researchers in the journal “The Lancet” had expressed doubts about booster vaccinations: “The study evidence to date shows no need to administer boosters on a widespread basis in populations with effective, complete vaccination,” it said. It said the still-limited number of vaccine doses worldwide could save the most lives if they benefited people who are at significant risk of severe disease and are still unvaccinated.

The background is that in some rich countries, booster vaccinations are being considered for everyone, while elsewhere hardly anyone has yet been vaccinated. The WHO had already called for a temporary halt to booster vaccinations against the coronavirus in early August, while many poorer countries are still waiting for vaccine doses.

  • source: ORF.at/agencies
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