The New York Times: U.S. Health Officials Clear Second Booster for Those 50 and Older
The FDA has approved a second booster COVID-19 vaccine dose for people 50 and older and some people with underlying conditions. This decision comes as a result of months of scientific debate on the necessity and efficacy of a 4th booster shot. Evidence suggests that the third booster surge saved thousands of lives during the Omicron variant winter surge. So a fourth booster shot is expected to provide similar protection in case of another surge in cases. A study from Israel found that 328,597 people aged 60 to 100 years old who received a second booster had 92 die of COVID-19 while 234,868 people of the same age range who only had one booster had 232 people die of COVID-19. Despite evidence such as this that shows the efficacy of a second booster, the FDA’s decision was complicated because it is not clear yet how long a second booster’s protection will last. Also, some experts argue it is better to focus on the development of a modified vaccine that is more effective against new variants rather than approving additional doses of the same vaccine that offer marginally new protection. The full article by Sharon LaFraniere can be read here on The New York Times. For more on COVID-19 vaccines click here.