Coronavirus booster shots for under-50s put on hold amid drive to fast-track new vaccine


Booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine Those under 50 have been put on hold as the Biden administration tried accelerator According to federal health officials, the fall vaccine campaign will use reformulated shots targeting the currently dominant omicron subtype.

Vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer, as well as its German partner BioEntech, said they hoped the updated shots could be made available as soon as mid-September instead of the fall, according to the three officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. They have no authority to talk about the issue.

Components will be from retooled boosters Omicron subtypes BA.4 and BA.5 and the original formula Based on the version of the virus that spread globally in early 2020. The hope is that the redesigned boosters will be more effective in dealing with the evolving virus.

At the end of June, FDA advisors Recommended Retooled boosters include Omicron component and Agency Directed Manufacturers should do so. The companies indicated that they will be offering new displays in October. But since then, officials have urged companies to speed up production of the footage. If the new boosters become available by mid-September, the administration is unlikely to approve a second dose of current boosters for people under 50, officials said.

No final decision has been made; Officials are awaiting word from manufacturers on whether there will be an adequate supply of reformulated displays if the fall campaign starts earlier than expected. A decision is expected in a few days.

The FDA said it will evaluate the current situation and make decisions about boosters based on all available evidence, including data showing an increase in hospitalizations.

Moderna spokesman Chris Ridley said the company is committed to accelerating the delivery of its reformulated vaccines “to meet regulatory requirements and public health demands around the world.” Pfizer declined to comment on the administrative vaccine results.

Currently, the only eligible groups for a second coronavirus booster are people aged 50 and above and people aged 12 and above with weakened immune systems.

Earlier this month, administration officials said they were weighing a plan to allow all adults to receive a second booster to blunt a virus surge fueled by the ever-spreading Omicron subtypes like BA. 5 bypasses certain immune defenses and Increased risk of re-infection.

Ashish Jha, the White House’s coronavirus coordinator, and Anthony S., the White House’s chief medical adviser. Fauci called for a quick decision to make booster shots more widely available this summer. But top FDA vaccine official Peter Marks had some concerns, officials said.

As the debate dragged into late July, officials became increasingly concerned that the window for younger people to get a second booster shot now and then a rescheduled shot later this year was closing.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday Washington Post Live His company is talking to the FDA about a second booster for all adults, but that’s ultimately the FDA’s decision.

“We need action from the FDA to approve a fourth dose for people under 50,” Walensky said. “In the meantime, the other thing we’re doing is planning for the fallout and understanding what the implications are and where we’re going for the fallout, which is another six weeks away.”

Some outside experts applauded the idea of ​​allowing all adults to receive a second dose of the current booster — especially because the protection provided by first boosters is waning. This would allow the Biden administration to use vaccine doses that have reached their expiration date and otherwise be discarded.

But other experts warned that a second dose of the current booster may not provide much benefit and may cause some harm. Paul A., director of the Center for Vaccine Education at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an outside consultant to the FDA. Offit recently said that repeated administration of the same vaccine can lead to a phenomenon known as “imprinting.” A highly targeted response to earlier versions of the virus and failed to adapt as the virus evolved.

The central government has agreed to buy 105 million doses A relaunched vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech for $3.2 billion. $30.50 per dose is the premium the government made for the original vaccine in 2020, when vaccines cost $19.50 per dose.

The government is expected to sign an agreement with Moderna soon.

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