The leaders of two federal health agencies have urged The White House to reconsider its plan to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine boosters. This is scheduled to start on 20th September 2021.
The leaders of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD)) have told White House COVID-19 advisers that there is not enough data right now to make a blanket recommendation on boosters and that it may be prudent to start boosters with older adults first, pending FDA authorization.
According to the New York Times, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, both of whom, the Times pointed out, helped craft the Biden booster plan and publicly endorsed it, warned the White House off commencing with their booster push as their agencies needed more time to determine whether to recommend boosters for people who have received the Pfizer vaccine “and possibly just some of them to start.”
Health experts said that Woodcock’s and Walensky’s previous support for the Biden plan “increased pressure on scientists weighing the evidence for boosters within their respective agencies to go along with the administration’s strategy.” White House spokesman Chris Meagher told the Times, “We always said we would follow the science, and this is all part of a process that is now underway.”
Sources allegedly told the Times that Woodcock privately “argued that it was risky to set a firm date for a booster rollout before regulators had a chance to thoroughly review the data, some of which had yet to be submitted by the vaccine manufacturers, and decide whether shots were safe and necessary.”
One member of the FDA’s advisory panel charged with examining the booster recommendation, Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Times that boosters are currently unwarranted. “There is no compelling reason to get a third dose” yet, Offit said to the paper.
He further criticized the White House for assuming that the FDA and CDC would “rubber-stamp its booster timeline,” the Times said. And he blamed the administration’s actions for the resignation of the two top FDA vaccine regulators. “Bypassing and marginalizing those agencies led veterans who you need in this pandemic to leave the F.D.A.,” Offit said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WRAL.COM
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