other Covid-19 boosters are on the horizon. But not everyone will need it, say experts – .

other Covid-19 boosters are on the horizon. But not everyone will need it, say experts – .

Moderna’s EUA request reflected which groups were allowed to receive a booster dose of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine. Third doses of Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines are already authorized for some immunocompromised people.

Still, some experts note that even though antibodies may decrease over time, the initial two-dose regimen for both vaccines is still resistant to severe Covid-19 infection.

Dr Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee that held the vote, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that proper expectations need to be set as to what vaccines are supposed to do. and how they remain effective.

“We need to define what the goal of this vaccine is. If the goal of this vaccine is protection against serious illness, that is, the type of illness that requires you to see a doctor or go to hospital or intensive care, current vaccines, as two-dose vaccines, do just that, ”he said. “So you don’t really need a booster at least when it comes to this data. “

The committee’s recommendation is the same as that granted last month for the third Pfizer / BioNTech dose: it is authorized for people over 65 years of age, and people 18 years and older who are at risk of serious illness or who live or work in a situation that puts them at a higher risk of complications or serious illness.

Offit said that although he voted to recommend half-dose booster shots for some people six months after their first two doses of Moderna’s vaccine, he doesn’t think everyone needs them.

“I’m worried about the 18 to 29-year-old type because that’s the group that has a higher risk of myocarditis – it’s inflammation of the heart muscle,” he said. “So without sort of a clear benefit that this third dose is needed, I think we’ve created this kind of ‘third dose fever’ in this country because of the way it’s played out. “

Dr Michael Kurilla, director of the Division of Clinical Innovation at the National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, agreed.

“I don’t see the need for a letting go campaign for boosters,” Kurilla said.

More than 9 million people have received a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 5% of those who were already fully vaccinated.

The number of people receiving booster doses currently exceeds the number of people receiving their first doses of the vaccine, according to CDC data. More than a million doses were given on Wednesday, but only 230,000 people on average begin the vaccination process each day.

President Joe Biden highlighted the progress made from when nearly 100 million eligible Americans were not vaccinated in July, but said the country was in a “very critical time” and urged to do so. any further.

“We have fallen to 66 million, a still unacceptable number of unvaccinated people,” he said Thursday. “Now is not the time to let go. “

The FDA will review the committee’s recommendations, and if an EUA is approved, the CDC will determine which groups would be eligible.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters will be considered on Friday, along with a presentation on mix-and-match vaccines.

Vaccine mandates move forward

As the discussion over recalls continues, experts consistently highlight the increased need to vaccinate unvaccinated people to get ahead of the pandemic. And while many public and private sector Covid-19 vaccination mandate campaigns have been successful, some agencies find the decline a vocal subset.

In Chicago, the police union president said up to half of the city’s officers could be put on unpaid leave starting Friday, due to individuals failing to report their immunization status as required. the city. The police department said this week it will be full until the weekend.

Many state employees in Washington are four days away from a deadline to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and authorities will not extend that deadline any further.

“If people choose to leave the public service, we will replace them,” Governor Jay Inslee said Thursday.

More than 90 percent of state employees have provided proof of vaccination, Inslee said, and about two percent more have received special accommodations that will allow them to remain unvaccinated due to medical conditions or religious beliefs.

In Nevada, intensive care units in rural hospitals that have reached their limits could face a staffing shortage as a mandate to vaccinate health workers takes effect on November 1.

“We know there are staff members who will refuse to be vaccinated,” Joan Hall, president of Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, said Thursday in a briefing. Vaccination rates for employees at their hospitals range from 60% to 90%, Hall said.

But experts have always pointed out that areas with higher vaccination rates do better with Covid-19 hospitalizations.

New York City has an indoor vaccination mandate for many businesses, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that 85% of adult residents had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the city’s public health system has reached its lowest point since the start of the pandemic, according to Dr Mitchell Katz, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.

Wider distribution of third doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is being considered

Antiviral pill request will be reviewed

Vaccines have proven to be the most effective means of protection against Covid-19, but the measure is preventive. An antiviral pill that could help those newly infected is now due for review next month.

The FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee will meet on November 30 to discuss Merck and Ridgeback’s emergency use authorization application for its investigational Covid-19 antiviral drug, molnupiravir, the report said Thursday. agency.

If authorization is ultimately granted, the drug – which comes in capsule form – would be the first oral antiviral treatment to fight Covid-19.

What would an antiviral pill mean in the fight against Covid-19?

Preliminary results showed that 7.3% of the 385 patients who received the antiviral were either hospitalized or died from Covid-19, compared with 14.1% of the 377 patients who received a placebo, Merck said earlier this week. this month.

“On day 29, no deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, compared to 8 deaths in patients who received placebo,” the statement said.

The FDA noted that it does not always call an advisory committee meeting to discuss a potential EUA, but it can when the committee’s discussion would help inform the agency’s decision-making.

“We believe that, in this case, a public discussion of these data with the agency’s advisory committee will help ensure a clear understanding of the scientific data and information that the FDA is evaluating in making a decision on whether or not to approve the product. this treatment for emergency use, ”Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

CNN’s Virginia Langmaid, Jen Christensen, Maggie Fox, Lauren Mascarenhas, Andy Rose, Peter Nickeas, Laura Ly and Casey Riddle contributed to this report.


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