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A group of leading U.S. and international scientists said Covid booster shots are not needed at this time


As Pfizer plans to start administering a third booster shot for covid-19 for millions of Americans, a group of leading U.S. and international scientists said Covid booster shots are ‘not appropriate’ at this time. In the study, which was published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet, the group concluded that Covid vaccine booster shots are not needed at this time for the general public after reviews of scientific evidence.

The announcement comes just a week before the Biden administration says it plans to begin offering the shots to the general public. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory group is meeting Friday to discuss the data to support the wide use of boosters.

The study is based on a review of available data about the durability of vaccine protection. The paper was co-authored by two senior FDA officials by Marion Gruber and Phil Krause, and the World Health Organization. Both Gruber and Krause, who announced last month they would be leaving the agency this fall, have been leading the agency’s review of Covid-19 vaccine applications, which amounts to a strikingly direct rebuff to the Biden administration as it lays plans for booster shots.

While Covid vaccine effectiveness against mild disease may wane over time, protection against severe disease may persist, the scientists said. That’s because the body’s immune system is complex, they said. The scientists further explained that the body has other defenses besides antibodies that may protect someone from getting seriously sick.

“Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe disease remains high,” the scientists wrote, adding the wide distribution of boosters is “not appropriate at this stage in the pandemic.”

The group also added that there are risks to distributing boosters too soon, including the potential for side effects such as a rare heart inflammation condition known as myocarditis, which is more common after the second dose of mRNA vaccines.

“If unnecessary boosting causes significant adverse reactions, there could be implications for vaccine acceptance that go beyond COVID-19 vaccines,” they wrote.

You can read the study below.

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