© Getty Images The U.S. is preparing to release a potential COVID-19 Pfizer booster shot for Americans over the age of 65 and those who are susceptible to high-risk illnesses by Friday. Pictured above is a photo of a needle, COVID-19 sticker, and band-aid.
As of Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve the third round of shots for the above-mentioned group of Americans. The move comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel will meet on Wednesday to discuss the distribution of the shots.
Currently, the FDA doesn’t have to follow the CDC panel guidelines but they usually abide by them. The booster shots will begin to take place once the FDA approves the shots and the CDC signs off on them.
On Monday, Interim Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Janet Woodcock told Reuters that while she backs the booster shots, scientists have argued that they aren’t needed as of yet.
“If people are acquiring the virus and spreading it, you want to stop that as much as possible. Of course, we’re using mitigation measures like masking and so forth, but vaccination is important,” she said.
On September 17, an FDA advisory committee voted to authorize the additional Pfizer shots for both groups of Americans rather than the broader public for now. This decision is due to a lack of evidence and the need for additional health data.
“Today was an important step forward in providing better protection to Americans from COVID-19,” White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz told Reuters after the vote. “We stand ready to provide booster shots to eligible Americans once the process concludes at the end of next week.”
Thirty-eight percent of Americans said that they would prefer vaccines to be given to the unvaccinated in developing nations first rather than used as booster shots in the U.S., according to a recent poll conducted by Yahoo News and YouGov.Thirty-two percent of those surveyed said it was more important to “offer boosters to as many Americans as possible.”
The remaining 30 percent of people in the survey said they were undecided on the issue.
The survey also discovered that 73 percent of vaccinated Americans would be willing to get a booster shot if it becomes available to them.
Newsweek reached out to the CDC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.
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