Top U.S. doctors say not so fast to Biden's booster shot rollout plan

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Just one month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon deliver a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House on a pledge to "follow the science," Biden found himself uncharacteristically ahead of it with that lofty pronouncement. Some of the nation's top […]
In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a health worker administers a dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Just one month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon deliver a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House on a pledge to "follow the science," Biden found himself uncharacteristically ahead of it with that lofty pronouncement.

Some of the nation's top medical advisers on Friday delivered a stinging rebuke of the idea, in essence telling the White House: not so fast.

A key government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected Biden's plan to give COVID-19 booster shots across the board and instead recommended the extra vaccine dose only for those who are age 65 or older or who run a high risk of severe disease.

Biden's Aug. 18 announcement that the federal government was preparing to shore up nearly all Americans' protection had been made with great fanfare. It was meant to calm the nerves of millions of Americans fearful of a new, more transmissible strain of the coronavirus.

"The plan is for every adult to get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot," Biden said, noting that his administration would be ready to begin the program on Sept. 20.

Biden added the qualification that third doses would require the signoff of health officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but his public message glossed over the nuance.

"Just remember," he said, "as a simple rule: Eight months after your second shot, get a booster shot."

Biden's plan drew immediate outrage from global health groups that encouraged the United States and other well-off nations to refrain from administering boosters until poorer countries could provide first doses to their most vulnerable citizens.

"Viewed from a global…
Associated Press
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