From the AP: US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for elderly, high-risk


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14 Responses

  1. Jaybird


    “High-risk” includes “obesity”… which is defined as, what? 25 BMI or higher?Report

  2. PD Shaw

    This sounds like the panel rejected the “waning” efficacy argument presented by Pfizer (one panel member was quoted as telling Pfizer they’ve looked at their data and don’t see it, per CNN), but agreed that some portion of the population is not as likely to have gotten a good immune response from primary vaccination. That was known at the time of the initial emergency authorization.Report

    • JS in reply to PD Shaw

      To be honest, I’m not really surprised.

      The one part of the whole process the rush due to the pandemic would stress would be the dose timing.

      Safety, short-term efficacy? Those were going to be solid. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find that that the optimal dose timing will be adjusted in the future. What we have is “good enough” given the stress the system is under.

      But perhaps they’ll end up with a three-dose setup like Hep A, or a larger or smaller gap between two doses, etc.Report

  3. Dark Matter

    That committee is going to care hugely about medical ethics. That means it’s a committee of people who didn’t want to say FU to the world’s unvaccinated.

    You see this issue pop up whenever we’re compared against the world’s HC system and always one of the metrics is equality.

    Pity. I have school age kids. The odds of them being exposed is very high. I was looking forward to reducing the impact of a break through.Report

  4. Dark Matter

    There are conflicting questions.

    One is individual HC and answering the question: “Does a booster help individuals”. The answer is pretty clearly yes. The panel wants to give a third shot to people with high exposure. That presumably means in terms of reducing the impact of breakthrough cases, a booster helps enough to be worthwhile for the people who are already vaccinated.

    The other question is how to fight the pandemic as a whole. The panel pretty clearly got focused on “controlling the pandemic” (worldwide, and that’s a quote from them), and not what would be useful for individuals. Thus we get weird counter-arguments like Israel’s situation and experience may not apply to the US.

    I buy the argument that Pfizer didn’t prove that immunity wains, but that’s irrelevant on whether a 3rd shot would be useful.

    Big picture the panel is run by people who buy into the problem that: “The Biden plan has also raised major ethical concerns about impoverished parts of the world still clamoring for vaccine.” (quote from previous link).

    What is best for the world and fighting the pandemic is vaccinating everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated reguardless of country. What is best for the US is reducing the impact of the virus, even if that means giving everyone a 3rd shot while three fourths of the world hasn’t had one.Report

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