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Fauci urges Americans not to get boosters until they are eligible

Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease doctor, defended President Biden’s decision last month to announce the availability of Covid booster injections before regulators weighed in, and he has urged vaccinated Americans to wait until they are eligible for an additional injection before getting one.

Dr Fauci’s remarks on three Sunday morning news broadcasts followed a vote on Friday by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee, which recommended that those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine be given a booster dose. if they are over 65 or at high risk of developing severe Covid-19. The panel’s recommendation represented a more limited plan than the one Mr Biden announced over the summer, in which he said that starting September 20, all Americans who had been fully vaccinated would be eligible for injections of booster eight months after their last dose.

Panel members decided there was not yet enough evidence to recommend additional injections for younger, healthier people, given that the vaccine continues to protect against serious illness and death in this area. group.

The FDA is expected to make a decision on the boosters in the coming days. It generally follows the recommendation of its advisory committees, but is not required to do so.

The boosters debate has come during a relentless wave of the highly transmissible Delta variant, which now accounts for more than 99% of cases tracked in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As hospitalizations and new cases began to slowly decline, deaths averaged over 2,000 per day for the first time since March 1, according to a New York Times database. Vaccines have been shown to protect against serious illnesses caused by Delta.

Mr Biden’s announcement was about FDA regulators, given that it came before the agency assessed the data to see if the injections were necessary. Two senior vaccine officials were quick to say they would be leaving the agency this fall, in part because of the issue.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Dr Fauci said Mr Biden “was not ahead of the science,” noting that the president had always said the plan depended on the FDA clearance.

“I think people don’t understand the difference of planning something and actually what part of it, what proportion, you’re actually going to deploy,” he said. “And that’s exactly what happened.”

Dr Fauci also urged Americans to be patient and wait until they are eligible for an additional injection, adding that it would only be a few weeks before there is data on whether an additional injection of the Moderna and Johnson vaccines. Johnson was needed.

“We’re working on that right now to get the data to the FDA, so they can review it and make a decision on boosters for these people,” he said. “They are by no means left behind. “

As more and more information comes in on how the original vaccines work, Dr Fauci said he expects the recall plan to change. “In real time, more and more data is piling up,” he told ABC’s “This Week”. “There will be an ongoing review of this data and a potential modification of the recommendations.”

Dr Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, echoed these remarks on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, saying the category of people eligible for an additional injection would likely be expanded in the “coming weeks.” .

Dr Fauci also confirmed that the deadline for authorizing vaccines for children under 12 continues to be this fall. About 48 million children in the United States are under 12 years of age and therefore still ineligible for a vaccine.

Pfizer said it plans to announce the results of its pediatric vaccine trial before the end of September. Dr Fauci said the results of Moderna’s trial would likely arrive a few weeks later.

“In the middle or late fall, we will see enough data on children aged 11 to 5 to be able to make the decision to vaccinate them,” he said.

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