United States: Experts in favor of a 3rd dose of vaccine, but not for all Americans

Scientific experts from the FDA have come out in favor of injecting a 3rd dose of Pfizer vaccine to all Americans over 65, but oppose it for the general population.

A third dose of vaccine for those 65 and over, but not for the youngest. After a day of debate, the experts of the advisory committee of the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) made two decisions concerning the injection of a third dose in the United States.

Experts were unanimous on the need for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans over the age of 65 or at risk. However, they are against this third injection in the general population. This is a setback for President Joe Biden who wanted to launch a recall campaign.

According to experts, the third injection is necessary for people at high risk of developing a severe form of the disease, six months after the second dose. They also believe that caregivers should be included among these “high risk” people.

Experts worry about injecting 3rd dose to all Americans

But this panel also expressed its concerns about the possible side effects that an additional dose of the vaccine would generate if it were administered to the entire population, especially among the youngest. She is thus opposed to the Biden administration’s major recall campaign aimed at adults. Scientists notably mentioned concerns about the risks of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, in young adolescents and adults.

Experts from the medical world spoke out on Friday in favor of the administration of a 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine to all Americans over 65 years of age or at risk but against its injection to the entire population, a setback for President Biden who wanted to launch a recall campaign.

After a day of debate, this advisory committee of the American Medicines Agency (FDA) made up of American researchers, epidemiologists and specialists in infectious diseases rendered two decisions.

These experts were unanimous on the need for a third dose of the vaccine for people aged 65 and over, as well as for people at high risk of developing a severe form of the disease, six months after the second. dose. They believe that caregivers should be included among these “high risk” people.

But this panel also expressed its concerns about the possible side effects that an additional dose of the vaccine would generate if it were administered to the entire population, especially among the youngest. It is thus de facto opposed to the Biden administration’s major recall campaign aimed at adults.

Scientists notably mentioned concerns about the risks of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, in young adolescent males and adult males.

The recommendations of this committee are not binding, but it is very rare that they are not respected by the authorities.

“I think this should demonstrate to the general public that the members of this committee are independent from the FDA, and that we do have a say when we are asked to sit,” said one of its members, Archana Chatterjee.

President Joe Biden’s administration announced in August the launch of an anti-Covid vaccine booster campaign for all American adults who received their second dose eight months previously from September 20.

This decision had taken many experts by surprise.

Mistrust had spread to the ranks of the FDA, which had issued a document tinged with caution before the meeting on Friday.

“In general, the data indicates that the anti-Covid vaccines authorized in the United States still confer protection against severe forms of Covid-19 and death,” the agency said in a report.

Two senior officials from the US Drug Agency have also put their names on a letter published this week in The Lancet against a third dose “at this stage of the pandemic”.

After announcing the decisions, Pfizer said “continue to believe in the benefits of a booster dose for more of the population,” while saying it wants to “work with the FDA (…) to answer questions of the committee “, through its head of vaccines Kathrin Jansen.

To convince the entire population of the need for this additional dose, the company cited studies earlier today that demonstrated a drop in protection against infections a few months after the administration of the first two doses.

However, a growing number of American studies show that two doses are sufficient to confer high protection against the serious consequences of the disease – albeit at slightly lower levels in the elderly.

Pfizer also referred to data showing that the boosters increased the level of antibodies against the Delta variant.

“The administration of a booster dose allowed Israel to limit severe cases in its 4th wave,” Sharon Alroy Preis, an Israeli health official, said during the presentation.

The American Medicines Agency retorts for its part that all the studies are not necessarily reliable and judges that those emanating from research in the United States are “likely to represent most faithfully the effectiveness of vaccines in the American population”.

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