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CDC Discusses Giving Third Dose to People Over 65

2021-07-24T13:59:19.442Z

The Government has already purchased an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech due to the possibility of needing additional vaccines for children under 12 years of age and the probable booster vaccines.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is wondering whether people over 65 or with compromised immune systems will need a third booster dose to be protected from the coronavirus.

This is a

radical policy change

 with respect to the position defended until a few weeks ago by the Administration, when it pointed out that there was not enough scientific evidence to add a new dose to the current vaccination plan.

Most of the population has been immunized with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which use messenger RNA technology to teach the body to create antibodies.

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A member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained Thursday that the agency is

looking at different options

to give patients with compromised immune systems a third dose, even before regulators expand the emergency use authorization for coronavirus vaccines, a step that could come soon for Pfizer, according to The New York Times.

People with compromised immune systems make up 2.7% of the population, according to the CDC, and include those with cancer, organ or stem cell transplants, or infectious diseases, among others.

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For now, the Government has already purchased an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech due to the possibility of needing additional vaccines, according to an official with knowledge of the contract quoted by CNN.

"The federal government is exercising an option in its contract with Pfizer to purchase 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be delivered between fall 2021 and spring 2022 to prepare for future vaccination requirements, including vaccines for children. children under 12 and possible booster shots if studies show they are necessary, "the official said.

The growing consensus within the Government that at least part of the population will need a booster is related to the

rise in COVID-19 cases

due to the spread of the delta variant, much more contagious, and to the study investigating whether the vaccine of Pfizer

is less effective

against the coronavirus about six months after being inoculated.

More than half of those vaccinated so far in the United States have received the Pfizer vaccine, two doses administered three weeks apart.

Pfizer's global follow-up study of participants in its clinical trials shows that, between four and six months after the second dose, the vaccine's efficacy against symptomatic infection drops

from 95% to 84%

, according to the pharmacist.

A 16-year-old receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech laboratories in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Paul Bersebach / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register via Getty Images

Data from the Israeli government, one of the countries to lead the vaccination race and which has immunized more than half of its population with Pfizer since January, also suggests that

efficacy declines over time

, although officials Public Health Americans appraise such data with caution due to margins of error.

The most recent figures from the Israeli Ministry of Health, released later this week, suggest that Pfizer's vaccine was only 39% effective in preventing infection in that country in late June and early July, compared to 95 % from January to April.

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The vaccine remained more than 90% effective in preventing a form of serious disease and almost as effective in preventing hospitalizations.

But Israel decided to start offering a third dose of Pfizer to citizens with severely weakened immune systems on July 12.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who heads the infectious diseases division of the National Institutes of Health and is the White House's top adviser on the fight against coronavirus,

was surprised by the apparent plummet in the effectiveness

of the Pfizer vaccine suggested by the Israeli data. Therefore, he said he wanted to compare them with information compiled by the CDC from studies conducted on thousands of people throughout the United States. 

Although other questions are raised, Administration officials recognized that it seems increasingly clear that vaccines will not give an indefinite immunity against the virus, so an initial solution would be to give a booster to certain people perhaps nine months after their first injection.

Faced with this eventuality, the Government has

already purchased more than enough vaccines

to supply third doses from Pfizer and Moderna, and has developed a new plan to distribute the vials more efficiently.

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 In the absence of abundant data on the need for a third dose, experts speak cautiously of the subject.

Dr. Paul A. Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) external advisory committee of vaccine experts, said that the increase in mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 that is being registered between vaccinated people did not necessarily mean that a booster was required.

"The objective of this vaccine is not to prevent mild or moderate infectious disease. The objective is to prevent from hospitalization to death. At this time

this vaccine has fulfilled that,

" he stressed.

[The CDC is considering recommending the mask to those vaccinated again due to the increase in COVID-19 infections]

Other experts caution that recommending a third dose

could

also

discourage people from getting vaccinated

.

If citizens think that immunity from vaccines is short-lived, they might decide not to even get the initial dose.

"We don't want people to believe that when you talk about boosters, that means vaccines are not effective," Fauci told Congress on Tuesday.

"They are very effective," he said.

Pfizer has openly shared its data regarding its vaccine, but the government was surprised this month when the drugmaker announced that it intends to request an emergency use authorization from the FDA for a third booster dose.

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The company justified its move with the first data from its booster study, which shows that the antibody level of participants in its clinical trial who received a third dose six months after the second is five to ten times higher than among the people who only get two.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-07-24

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