US recall fire begins, even though millions remain unprotected – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
The United States on Friday launched a campaign to offer booster shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Americans, even as federal health officials stressed that the real problem remains getting the unvaccinated vaccinated. .
“We will not improve our way out of this pandemic,” warned Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – even though she took the rare step of overriding the advice of her own panel of experts. to make more people eligible for the booster.
The vast majority of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated, Walensky noted. And the three COVID-19 vaccines in the United States offer strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death despite the extra-contagious delta variant that has skyrocketed cases. But immunity to a milder infection appears to wane months after the initial vaccination.
Those concerned about another dose of Pfizer wereted no time rolling up their sleeves after Walensky ruled Thursday night on who is eligible: Americans 65 and over and others vulnerable due to health problems. health or where they work and live – after six months have passed their last dose.
Jen Peck, 52, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, qualified because of her work as a consultant in mathematics and education. She was vaccinated in March, but is worried about getting and spreading an infection without knowing it. She travels between rural schools where many students and teachers do not wear masks and the youngest cannot yet be vaccinated.
âI don’t want to be COVID Mary carrying it around buildings full of unvaccinated kids. I couldn’t live with myself if I transported it from one building to another. It haunts me, the thought of it, âsaid Peck, who got the extra shot Friday morning.
Health officials need to clear up the confusion over who should receive a recall and why. For now, the recall campaign is what Walensky called “a first step”. It only applies to people initially vaccinated with vaccines produced by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. Decisions regarding recalls for Americans who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are yet to come.
President Joe Biden has said if you are vaccinated: âYou’re in good shape and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way, that’s where the booster comes in.â He urged those who are now eligible to one more shot at “go get the booster,” saying he would get his own soon – and everyone should be patient and take their turn.
Who exactly should receive a recall was a controversial decision, as CDC advisers spent two days mulling the evidence. Walensky endorsed most of their choices: People 65 and over, residents of nursing homes, and people 50 to 64 who have chronic health conditions such as diabetes should receive one once they are over. ‘they will be six months after their last dose of Pfizer. People 18 and older with health problems can decide for themselves whether they want a booster.
But in an extremely unusual move, Walensky dismissed the objections of his advisers and decided that an additional large swath of the population was also eligible: people at increased risk of infection – not serious illness – because of their work. or their living conditions. This includes healthcare workers, teachers, and people in prison or homeless shelters.
âIt was a tight science call,â Walensky said Friday. “In this situation, it was my call to make.”
Experts say this was only the second time since 2000 that a CDC director has canceled its advisory board.
Healthcare workers can’t come to work if they even have a mild infection, and hospitals worried about the understaffing have welcomed the move.
But some CDC advisers fear that offering boosters this widely could backfire without better evidence that it will really make a difference beyond the most medically vulnerable.
“I hope all of this confusion – or what may sound like confusion – doesn’t send the message to the public that there is a problem with the vaccine,” said Dr. Beth Bell, an expert on the vaccine. University of Washington. “I want to make sure people understand that these are great vaccines and that they work extremely well.”
Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease specialist, has warned against seeking a Pfizer recall before the recommended six-month limit.
“You get a lot more effect on the shot” by letting the immune system mature for that long so that it is ready to increase the production of anti-virus antibodies, he explained.
The United States had already authorized third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for certain people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and transplant recipients. Other Americans, healthy or not, have been successful in getting reminders, in some cases simply by asking.
About 182 million Americans are fully immunized, or just 55% of the total population. Three-quarters of those 12 and over – the ages eligible for vaccination – have received a first dose.
Eligible individuals who wish to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 booster injection can make an appointment at:
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