(ZH) Confirming what we have all suspected (and The White House, France, and Germany all confirmed), The FDA hasconfirmed, according to people familiar with discussions within the agency, expects to have a strategy on Covid-19 vaccine boosters by early September that would lay out when and which vaccinated individuals should get the follow-up shots.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Biden administration is pushing for the swift release of a booster strategy because some populations - people age 65 or older and people who are immunocompromised, as well as those who got the shots in December or January shortly after they were rolled out - could need boosters as soon as this month, two of the people said.
So we have gone from double-masking to triple-jabbing... one wonders when it will end?
Will the obese, old, or immunocompromised be expected to take bi-annual booster shots for the rest of their lives... and what do they think this will do to the masses of unvaccinated people?
And what happens when the 'Delta' variant runs it's course?
Perhaps it's time to switch from 'Greek' identifiers for variants to Cambodian (the Khmer alphabet has 74 letters).
* * *
Recommended for You
Despite WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros's pleas for the west to impose a booster shot "moratorium" to give the developing world a better chance of catching up to North America and Europe in the vaccination race, it looks like President Biden is preparing to greenlight booster jabs for the most vulnerable, Axios reports.
Citing anonymous sources, Axios says Biden and his team are "actively working toward" allowing the highest-risk patients to receive a third jab, a policy that could be handed down in the coming days or weeks, despite the WHO's pleas. The recommendation is likely to be issued "soon", according to Axios's sources.
Israel became the first country to start handing out booster shots earlier this month, and the UK and Germany are already reportedly drawing up plans for booster jabs as well. According to Axios, some immunocompromised people see a much bigger benefit from the third dose.
Of course, approval for the third dose will need to come from the FDA, and Biden Administration officials are working with the agency to try and work something out. But as Axios points out, scientists aren't exactly in agreement that booster shots are the right course of action. Some are concerned that antibodies from the shots fade over time.
"We...are prepared if the FDA decides that they are going to recommend a booster," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday at a briefing.
"That is why we ordered the number of doses we did order several months ago, because we are like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and always want to be prepared."
The FDA recently claimed there wasn't enough evidence to warrant recommending booster shots after Pfizer started actively campaigning for them. But apparently, they have changed their tune, even as more data emerges to suggest that the present delta-driven wave of infections might soon start to wane.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel appeared on CNBC Thursday morning to advocate the need for booster shots while promoting the latest favorable data (trial data showing the Moderna jab is 93% effective).
The US isn't the only western power ignoring the WHO's call for the moratorium: France on Thursday announced that it would start doling out booster jabs in the fall, joining Germany in the UK, who have announced similar plans.