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Monday, December 6, 2021

Boosters for everyone?

The federal government’s recommendations for Covid booster shots have often been confusing, but they seem to be going to get much easier soon.

The FDA appears to be ready to authorize Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations for all adults in the United States. If this happens, anyone over the age of 18 can get it if at least six months have passed since the last vaccination. (The CDC said adults who received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine should receive a booster dose at least two months later.)

Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a “very, very unwavering advocate” of boosters, Sharon Lafraniere of The Times told us, covering the federal government’s response to the pandemic. “He continues to point out that the data is becoming more reliable.”

Today we will tell you what drives regulators to expand the circle of participants, who most need vaccinations and how to get them.

First, the immune system weakens. While experts are debating the rate at which vaccines are becoming less effective, there is strong evidence that they are indeed losing some of their ability to prevent Covid infections. (These charts show a decline.) While vaccines remain largely protected against severe disease, some studies show that they are becoming somewhat less effective, especially for the elderly or other people with underlying medical conditions.

Second, expanding access to boosters is easier than asking Americans to read a list of rules to determine if they are appropriate. As our colleague Apurva Mandavilli said, “It’s easier to just tell people to get them.”

Third, expanding eligibility for all adults will align the United States with the approaches of other countries, including Israel and Canada. Several US states have begun expanding access to boosters on their own, essentially stating they can’t wait for the federal government.

“Critics would say the CDC is starting to look more like a galley than a locomotive,” says Sharon. If an agency recommends boosters for all adults, “they just allow what’s already going on.”

The government has already recommended that older people, people 50 and older with underlying medical conditions and people with weakened immune systems, have additional vaccinations. And the CDC has authorized boosters for many others.

“I urge everyone I know who is at higher risk to get boosted,” writes Zeynep Toufekci, a sociologist and columnist for Times Opinion.

Some experts believe the need for boosters in young, healthy Americans is decreasing. But others have begun to prove it. “All vaccinated adults will benefit from booster vaccinations,” Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University wrote to The Atlantic yesterday.

Why? The incidence is on the rise again – as of Wednesday, the US averaged over 88,000 new cases per day, up 23 percent from two weeks ago – and a new winter surge appears possible, especially in parts of the country with lower vaccination rates. (Look at your county numbers.) This increases the urgency of getting as much American protection as possible.

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Although new infections are concentrated among the unvaccinated, Jha notes, breakthrough infections have become more common. For younger, healthier adults, getting a booster shot can lower the chances of getting sick and pass the virus on to someone more vulnerable.

And the boosters seem to work. Evidence from Israel, which offered complementary vaccinations to all adults, suggests that a third dose of Pfizer raises protection against infection to a level similar to the initial efficacy of the vaccine.

Once the government expands your eligibility, you can go to your local pharmacy, doctor’s office, or wherever vaccines are available.

Mixing and juxtaposing different types of vaccines appears to provide a stronger immune response, Apurva said, especially if you get Moderna vaccine after two Pfizer injections or after a single injection of J. & J.

Some public health experts have called on the US and other countries not to make boosters widely available. They argue that this will limit the supply of injections to the rest of the world, especially to residents of less wealthy countries.

But as Sharon notes, the US government has already stockpiled enough doses of the vaccine to provide boosters to adults. And the Biden administration, under pressure to increase supplies to poor countries, plans to expand production capacity to produce at least a billion doses a year.

Millions of doses have already been distributed in pharmacies and clinics in the United States. “They cannot be returned and sent abroad,” writes Jha. “Either we use these doses here, or we throw them away.”

More about the virus:

Your family’s arguments about the Thanksgiving table are about something much deeper, Emily Isfahani Smith is talking.

The Biden administration will ultimately be judged by whether it has reduced inequality and increased opportunity. While he does it, David Brooks argues.

The European Union’s fear of migrants has given autocrats the tools to blackmail, Charlotte McDonald-Gibson writes.

The music business has changed since Adele’s last album came out in 2015. But she is still the exception to many rules.

In a review of his new album, 30, which talks about divorce and moving forward, The Times’ John Pareles writes that Adele “stayed away from the miniaturization and gimmick of the modern pop hit.”

There is a reason she can do it. She has an ardent fan base from across generations and listens more to pop history than fleeting trends. And those fans are in the mood for “30” after a high-profile promotion that included a primetime CBS live special, an interview with Oprah Winfrey, and the covers of US and UK Vogue.

Adele is a musical unicorn, writes The Times’ Ben Sisario, “who not only releases sensational hits, but does so after years of inactivity, even almost complete silence, which defies all the unwritten rules of running a pop star’s career.” – Claire Moses, matinee writer

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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