US Pandemic chief Dr. Anthony Fauci said he disagrees with an article in the medical journal The Lancet that argues there isn’t enough compelling evidence to support giving widespread booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines.
A notable thing about the paper? It was co-authored by two outgoing federal vaccine regulators.
During an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Fauci called the article “controversial” and said it conflates things that are not supposed to be connected.
Specifically, Fauci said the U.S. can embark on a program of giving booster shots without sacrificing doses needed by the rest of the world.
“You can do both. The way we’re doing in this country, you can have a program to give booster, in this case third shots for people who’ve gotten the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, you can get them boosted if you put a considerable amount of resources and effort into getting low and middle income people vaccinated. And that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Fauci said.
Booster drama: The Biden administration is pushing for boosters to be widely available to all Americans beginning Sept. 20, pending approval or authorization from federal health agencies, and is trying to rally behind a consistent message across all agencies.
The administration, and Pfizer, will present evidence at an FDA advisory committee on Friday.
Good data? Fauci, like other administration health officials, has hinted that the data from Israel, which has been administering third doses for a few months, is compelling.
“The data are strongly suggestive in this country, and more than just suggestive in Israel, that you have a waning of immunity among people across age groups, not just the very very elderly, you have clearly waning of immunity against infection and a clear cut indication of waning of immunity against severe disease,” he said.
EU pledges an additional 200m vaccine doses to other countries
The US is pushing to get 70% of world’s population vaccinated by 2022
Abdulla Shahid, president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the event’s opening on Tuesday. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock
Nicki Minaj anti-Vax stance Hit by Critics
Rap star Nicki Minaj is under scrutiny from many critics for tweeting about her decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and for promoting an unsubstantiated story to her millions of followers.
“She should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis as except a one-off anecdote,” White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “That’s not what science is all about.”
At least one global leader has been asked about the controversy: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson said he is not “as familiar … as I probably should be” with the rapper and added he’s much more familiar with “superstar” Nikki Kanani, England’s top doctor.
September 15 (GMT)