Few Getting Updated COVID-19 Boosters Despite White House Pleas

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Few people have received updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters since it was first made available in August, according to recent data published by the federal government.

A man fills syringes with COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in San Rafael, California, on April 6, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

About 14.8 million have received bivalent boosters made by Pfizer and Moderna, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that was published Thursday shows. The Food and Drug Administration provided emergency use authorizations for both booster doses on Aug. 31 for people aged 12 and older, while it signed off on an emergency approval for children aged 5 to 11 this week.

Some 226 million people have received their primary vaccination series, CDC data shows. It means that about 6.5 percent of people who are eligible got the updated boosters, which were designed to target the Omicron variant and several of its subvariants.

The Biden administration has repeatedly called on people to get the bivalent booster shots. Earlier this week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha earlier this month claimed that “tens of thousands of lives” could be saved by people taking the booster shot.

Each of the last two winters we have seen increases in Covid infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. There are new subvariants of Omicron emerging that are going to pose substantial challenges to several of our therapies. So our message is very simple: Don’t wait. Get vaccinated,” he stated.

Lack of Testing?

However, some medical professionals—including members of an FDA advisory panel—have recommended that young people shouldn’t receive the updated boosters.

Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said in a CNN interview that he isn’t convinced the Omicron-specific shots will provide any benefit to that age cohort.

“When you’re asking people to get a vaccine, I think there has to be clear evidence of benefit,” he said in September. “And we’re not going to have clinical studies, obviously, before this launches, but you’d like to have at least human data [on] people getting this vaccine, you see a clear and dramatic increase in neutralizing antibiotics, and then at least you have a correlate of protection against [Omicron subvariant] BA.4, BA.5.”

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