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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved this Wednesday the third dose of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine for Americans 65 and older and seniors at risk. Despite an additional injection being approved, President Joe Biden’s plans were far more ambitious.
“Today’s decision demonstrates that the science and data currently available they continue to guide FDA decision-making for COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic, ”Agency Director Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
This FDA decision comes in the middle of the debate in the United States about the need to administer a third dose to its entire population and worldwide on the suitability of doing so. while other countries still don’t have enough vaccines.
For its part, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opened just this Wednesday a discussion that will last two days and in it they will debate about the additional dose of the vaccines, to whom they should be administered and when they will be applied.
Normally the FDA approves a measure before the CDC brings together its own experts, which did not happen on Wednesday.
Setback in Biden’s plans
The Biden administration thought the unknowns about a third dose were straightforward, but the reality is that the science behind these injections is much broader than it appears.
Just last week an advisory committee from the FDA overwhelmingly rejected (16-2) the proposal to vaccinate the elderly population in the United States for the third time. However, it did approve it for the elderly and at risk of seriously suffering from COVID-19.
According to the FDA statement, individuals qualified to receive the additional inoculation will do so six months after the second dose, and not at eight as Biden had estimated in August.
“We’ve been preparing for weeks to give booster shots eligible Americans and we are ready to do so following the final recommendation from the CDC later this week, “said Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman.
The data presented by Pfizer and the government of Israel for the third dose in older people is quite robust. Nevertheless, falter as the age of the person decreases, which makes experts think that so far not the entire population of legal age deserves to be vaccinated again.
The FDA also referred to the people who were vaccinated with Moderna or Johnson & Johnson and that a date after six months will be chosen, since do not recommend combining those of Pfizer doses with those of other pharmaceutical companies regardless of its percentage of effectiveness.
The Pfizer dose is the only one that is fully approved by the FDA, while the others have only emergency authorization.
In a statement, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated that “vaccine boosters have an important role to play in addressing the continuing threat of this disease” and viewed the FDA’s decision as a “crucial milestone”In the fight against COVID-19.
With information from The Associated Press.
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