As TheBL previously reported, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined the plan to administer Pfizer booster shots to all eligible Americans.
The decision was made after the vaccine advisory committee on Friday, Sept. 17, voted 16-2 against a proposal saying the Pfizer-made booster shot should be rolled out for those age 16 and up six months after their last injection, according to the Financial Times.
However, FDA officials unanimously voted for recommending the third vaccine shot for recipients aged 65 years and above. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risks with COVID-19 tend to increase in older people.
On Sunday, September 19, Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the FDA panel’s decision to deny a third booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to the general public in the United States, according to CNBC.
“I don’t think they made a mistake,” Fauci continued. “They came up with a recommendation, which I think is a good recommendation.”
After President Joe Biden said last month that booster shots would be given to all Americans beginning the week of Sept. 20, the FDA panel’s decision added to the confusion over booster shots.
“I understand why there might be confusion because I think people were not understanding the difference of planning for something and actually what element of that, what proportion of it you’re actually going to roll out, and that’s exactly what happened,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Later, he told ABC’s “This Week” that the administration established the Sept. 20 deadline as a placeholder, pending feedback from the FDA and the CDC.
“The plan was that we have to be ready to do this as soon as a decision is made,” he said. “And when you have a plan, you put a date on it, and you say, ‘We want to be able to get ready to roll out on the week of September the 20th.’”
If future evidence reveals that a booster is effective, Fauci said he would support the third dosage. “I am 80, and I’m an elderly person, certainly eligible. I will certainly get a booster.” But getting unvaccinated Americans vaccinated remains the top priority.
As of Sept. 18, more than 181 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. But, unfortunately, about 670,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 disease.
Fauci expects data on boosters from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in the coming weeks. He also stated on “This Week” that a vaccine for children will “certainly” be available this fall.