Health officials have informed the White House that regulators need more time to review the data needed before approving a COVID-19 recall plan.
According to guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the two agencies have so far accumulated only enough data to suggest that some people who have received the Pfizer vaccine should receive a reminder.
FDA Acting Commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock and CDC Chief Dr Rochelle Walensky urged caution and said their agencies needed more time before approving any further action regarding injections of reminder, according to The New York Times.
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The White House has said it will continue to “follow the science” and that “this is all part of a process that is now underway” as the administration awaits full approval of the booster injections.
“When this approval and recommendation is made, we will be ready to implement the plan developed by the best doctors in our country to stay ahead of this virus,” said spokesperson Chris Meagher.
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The government’s stance on booster injections has come under scrutiny over the past week as reports revealed that two FDA officials would resign in two to three months after its appearance, the White House would go ahead with a vaccine recall recommendation without the approval or support of the agency’s vaccine advisory team.
The duo were said to have been frustrated that the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) were directing decisions that should be the responsibility of the FDA, biotech outlet Endpoint News reported, citing a former senior executive at the FDA as the source.
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Earlier this month, President Biden said the plan was for every adult to receive a booster shot eight months after receiving the second injection.
The White House decision comes amid the rise of the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19, which studies have shown doubled the risk of hospitalization for unvaccinated people.
The White House has defended the president’s decision to advise booster injections from September 20, saying the guidance is based on science, not politics.
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“Well, first of all, we always lead with science”, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. She then referred to health agencies saying, âThey looked at mountains and mountains of data available on vaccine effectiveness and made clinical judgment on the need for boosters, and announced a plan for them. start in September, subject, of course, to the FDA. and CDC processes are continuing. ”