COVID-19 vaccine boosters not widely needed, top FDA and WHO scientists say | Inquirer News
Close  

COVID-19 vaccine boosters not widely needed, top FDA and WHO scientists say

/ 06:52 AM September 14, 2021
Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. (REUTERS)

WASHINGTON –  Additional COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are not needed for the general population, leading scientists including two departing senior U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials and several from the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an article published in a medical journal on Monday.

The scientists said more evidence was needed to justify boosters. That view disagrees with U.S. government plans to begin offering another round of shots to many fully vaccinated Americans as soon as next week, contingent on approval from health regulators.

ADVERTISEMENT

As COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant of the virus rise, President Joe Biden’s administration is concerned that infections among those already vaccinated are a sign that their protection is waning and has pushed boosters as a way to rebuild immunity.

The WHO has argued that the vaccines are still needed for first doses around the globe.

FEATURED STORIES

“Any decisions about the need for boosting or timing of boosting should be based on careful analyses of adequately controlled clinical or epidemiological data, or both, indicating a persistent and meaningful reduction in severe disease,” the scientists wrote in the Lancet medical journal.

The risk-benefit evaluation should consider the number of severe COVID-19 cases that boosting would be expected to prevent, and whether it is safe and effective against the current variants, they said.

“Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe disease remains high,” the scientists wrote.

Some countries have begun COVID-19 booster campaigns, including Israel, providing some of the data on which the Biden administration has made its case for additional shots.

The article’s authors included the FDA Office of Vaccines Research and Review Director Marion Gruber and Deputy Director Phil Krause, both of whom plan to leave the agency in the next several months.

They acknowledged that some individuals, such as those who are immunocompromised, could benefit from an additional dose.

Broader use of boosters may be needed in the future if there is waning immunity to the primary vaccination or if new variants evolve so that the vaccines no longer protect against the virus, they said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Boosters could also prove risky if introduced too soon or too frequently, the scientists wrote.

A panel of experts that advises the FDA on vaccines plans to meet on Sept. 17 to discuss additional doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, the first step in a wider booster roll-out.

The article’s authors included WHO top scientists Soumya Swaminathan, Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo and Mike Ryan.

“Current vaccine supplies could save more lives if used in previously unvaccinated populations,” the authors wrote.

gsg

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: booster, COVID-19, FDA, vaccine, WHO
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.