Health workers prepare a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination site in Orange County, California, USA on August 26 – Photo: AP
The authors, including two leading experts from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), argue that governments should focus on immunizing the unvaccinated and wait for more data on the disease. booster dose.
According to Bloomberg News, the world group of experts said that “even in populations with high vaccination rates, the unvaccinated are still the main infectious agents” during this phase of the pandemic.
The authors reviewed studies on vaccine efficacy and concluded that vaccines are still working well, especially in preventing severe disease progression, even though the highly contagious Delta variant is dominant. treatment in many countries.
To date, the COVID-19 vaccine in general has been on average 95 percent effective in preventing severe disease, including the Delta variant, and more than 80 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infection.
“None of the studies provided reliable evidence of a significant reduction in vaccine protection against severe disease,” the authors wrote. In addition, they say, there is an increased risk of side effects if the booster dose is injected too soon.
The authors argue that it would be more beneficial to create booster doses that focus on circulating variants – like the flu vaccine that is updated each year – than to inject an additional dose of the original vaccine.
The world is witnessing a heated scientific debate about who needs a booster dose and when. Many countries, including the US, are facing the decision to give booster doses to the entire population.
Among the authors were Ms. Marion Gruber – head of the FDA’s Office of Vaccine Research and Evaluation – and Mr. Philip Krause – Ms. Gruber’s deputy. Both said they would step down at the end of the year.
The other 16 authors in the group of experts are leading vaccine researchers in the US, UK, France, South Africa and India, and scientists from the World Health Organization. They are the ones who have called for a postponement of booster doses until poorer countries are better vaccinated.
Larry Gostin – an attorney and public health expert at Georgetown University (USA) – said the article by the group of experts “adds fuel to the fire” debate about whether most Americans need a dose. enhanced and whether the White House is ahead of scientists.
The FDA has yet to comment on the opinion piece published in The Lancet.
The administration of US President Joe Biden plans to inject a booster dose from September 20 to the people, although it is still waiting for FDA approval. Currently, the US has given booster doses for immunocompromised people such as organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, etc.