Dr. Paul Offit also warns Biden administration not to “over-sell” booster.
A leading vaccine expert and pediatric doctor now says healthy young people should avoid getting the new covid booster shot, indicating that it can carry risks and its efficacy hasn’t yet been proven.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, said he’s not fully sold on the benefits of a third shot outweighing the harm.
‘Who really benefits from another dose?’ Offit said on CNN.
He did acknowledge that studies have shown people who are over 65, immuno-compromised or have a chronic ailments are less likely to be hospitalized with the virus if they’ve had a third or even fourth shot.
The newly developed dose, called a bivalent vaccine, is a cocktail of the original coronavirus strain combined with parts of the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. The hope being that people would be able to fight a broader range of more highly contagious virus mutations.
Offit is warning the Biden administration about over-selling the new covid booster (i.e., containing two strains of omicron covid, BA.4 and BA.5). Offit reported that preliminary data suggested the new bivalent vaccines were worse at warding off COVID infections than the first generation of shots.
OModerna recently published a study on the clinical efficacy of the bivalent vaccine containing BA.1. Sixteen cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred: 11 in the bivalent group and five in the monovalent group. For those who suffered clinical illness, five were in the bivalent group and one in the monovalent group. In other words, although the numbers were small, the monovalent vaccine performed better than the bivalent vaccine.
Heading into the fall, it would make sense to boost those at greatest risk of hospitalization with Covid-19. We should be careful, however, about overselling the bivalent vaccine as something better than the existing vaccine until more data are available.
The American people may no longer buy what the Biden administration has to sell concerning the covid booster. Over 225 million Americans are fully vaccinated, but less than 2 percent have opted to get booster shots.
U.S. health officials say 4.4 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves for the updated COVID-19 booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the count Thursday as public health experts bemoaned President Joe Biden’s recent remark that “the pandemic is over.”
….Health experts said it is too early to predict whether demand would match up with the 171 million doses of the new boosters the U.S. ordered for the fall.
“No one would go looking at our flu shot uptake at this point and be like, ‘Oh, what a disaster,’” said Dr. David Dowdy, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “If we start to see a large uptick in cases, I think we’re going to see a lot of people getting the (new COVID) vaccine.”
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