A US government advisory panel rejected plans for widespread use of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, a blow to the Biden administration, which had backed additional shots for nearly all Americans.
By a vote of 16-2, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine advisory panel rejected the widespread use of boosters, citing a lack of data on their safety as well as a lack of evidence relating to their value. had gone.
The independent panel endorsed additional vaccine doses for people who are 65 years of age and older or at high risk of serious disease.
Drugmaker Pfizer had requested full approval for a booster for people 16 and older, a proposal supported by the Biden administration.
The White House announced last month that Americans who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines could get a booster shot eight months after the second dose.
And earlier on Friday, the White House said it was ready to roll out booster shots if health officials approve them.
Pfizer submitted data to the FDA this week showing that the efficacy of its vaccine drops by about 6% every two months after the second dose, making the booster safe and effective against the virus at the six-month mark. Strengthens security. Causes COVID-19.
Research has shown that although immunity levels in vaccinated people decline over time, the Pfizer vaccine still provides strong protection against serious illness and death, even in cases of the delta type.
The FDA panel’s recommendation is non-binding; The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s recommendations, but it generally does.
Next week, an independent advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consider who should get the booster and when.
Elsewhere, France suspended 3,000 health care workers who were not vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine within a government-mandated September 15 deadline.
Tens of the country’s 2.7 million healthcare workers were not vaccinated in July, when President Emmanuel Macron announced a September 15 deadline to receive at least one shot of a vaccine.
Health Minister Olivier Veran said most of the suspended staff work in support services, while some doctors and nurses have been suspended.
France has had more than 7 million cases and more than 116,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said on Friday.
In India, a record 22.6 million vaccination shots were given on Friday as some regions organized special vaccination drives for the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 71.
“Today’s record vaccination numbers would make every Indian proud,” Modi said on Twitter.
According to the Health Ministry, India has provided at least one vaccine dose to more than 62% of its adult population and has fully vaccinated around 21% of adults.
In Switzerland, officials announced that all travelers entering the country who have neither been vaccinated nor recovered from the disease will need proof of a negative test.
British authorities eased restrictions on travel in England, including eliminating the requirement that fully vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries take a COVID-19 test on arrival.
In the US state of Idaho, hospitals have begun rationing care “because of the overwhelming number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in all areas of the state,” Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) said in a statement. Growth has exhausted existing resources.” Thursday.
DHW director Dave Jepsen said in a statement: “The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat patients in our hospitals, whether you are at risk for COVID-19 or a heart attack.” or be due to a car accident.” .
The best way to end rationing is “to get more people vaccinated,” Jepsen said. “This dramatically lowers your chances of going to the hospital if you become ill with COVID-19.”
Some information for this report has been received from The Associated Press and Reuters.