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Booster Vaccine is Still a Debate Among Scientists

Scientists consider there are still many countries that are difficult to get a vaccine.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NEWYORK — An international group of scientists, including two US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists, wrote a scientific journal on the urgency of booster Covid-19 vaccine. Experts reviewed the vaccine performance studies and concluded the vaccine worked well even though the delta variant was classified as extra-infectious.

“Even in populations with fairly high vaccination rates, those who are not vaccinated are still the main driver of transmission at this stage of the pandemic,” their study concluded. AP News on Wednesday (15/9).

That snippet of conclusions comes from research published in The Lancet. The study illustrates the scientific debate about the need for a vaccine booster.

Scientists are still debating who needs a booster vaccine, and when it should be given. Because, until now, there are still many countries that have difficulty getting vaccines.

The study’s authors included two leading vaccine reviewers at the FDA, Drs Phil Krause and Marion Gruber. The two recently announced they would be stepping down from the FDA this fall.

Among the other 16 authors are leading vaccine researchers in the US, UK, France, South Africa and India, plus scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Researchers have urged a moratorium booster until poorer countries get better vaccinations. In the US, the White House has begun planning booster later this month, if the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree. FDA advisors will consider evidence of extra Pfizer injections. The FDA did not respond to requests for comment regarding this news.

The US has been offering extra doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to people with severely weakened immune systems. For the general population, the debate is whether a booster should be given even though the vaccine still offers high protection.

Last week, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said new data showed as the deltas spiked, the unvaccinated were 4.5 times more likely to be infected than the fully vaccinated. They were more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die.

However, government scientists are also weighing hints of reduced protection among older adults vaccinated early last winter.

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