Different Takes: FDA Needs To Stop Complicating Boosters; Vaccine Donation Is Taking Too Long
Opinion pages examine these covid and vaccine topics.
On Covid-19 Booster Shots, The FDA Has Overstepped Its Role
Booster shots for all adults six months after being vaccinated against Covid-19 are safe, effective, and badly needed. The United Kingdom and the European Union have authorized them for all adults. Israel won’t let anyone enter the country without one. In the U.S., however, the FDA authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine only for individuals over age 65, those who face elevated risk due to their health conditions, or who work in jobs that put them at higher risk of infection. In imposing these limits, the FDA overstepped its role for vaccine approvals. (Bernard Black and David Thaw, 10/18)
Rich Countries Need To Share Covid Vaccines Faster
Manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines say they’re now producing 1.5 billion doses a month and will have made 12 billion doses by the end of the year. In theory, that would be enough to meet the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the global population. The challenge is to ensure these vaccines go where they’re needed. Most of the doses coming off production lines appear headed for wealthy countries that will soon have more than enough. (10/18)
The Washington Post:
Biden Administration Should Share Moderna Vaccine Recipe With The World
As wealthy countries swimming in coronavirus vaccines begin to approve booster shots for their populations, the poorer nations of the world are left to struggle. More than 50 countries, many of them in Africa, have not been able to vaccinate even 10 percent of their people, according to the World Health Organization. When speaking of vaccination disparities between richer and poorer countries, those in the West love to use neutral-sounding, global-development jargon such as “vaccine access” and “vaccine equity.” Those on the other side of the global power dynamic describe the same reality in different ways: “vaccine nationalism” or, more harshly, “vaccine apartheid.” (Karen Attiah, 10/18)
Colin Powell's Death Argues For Vaccines, Not Against Them
Vaccine opponents are seizing on the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was fully vaccinated yet died of Covid-19 complications, to cast doubt on the vaccination effort against the virus. As usual, these people are dangerously wrong. The death of someone like Powell, who was 84 and fighting multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that significantly hampers the immune system, is a potent argument to vaccinate as broadly as possible. (Max Nisen, 10/18)
The New York Times:
What We Know About Covid-19, The Flu And The Air We Breathe
Covid-19 is not the only respiratory infection the globe has been fighting, especially in the colder months. Last winter, the flu nearly disappeared worldwide because precautions taken against Covid-19, including masks and social distancing, also worked to prevent it. These precautions may have been especially powerful against the flu because they were layered upon some protective immunity people had built up from years of prior exposure to various flu viruses. There was no such protection from Covid-19, which was novel. (Linsey Marr, 10/19)
Covid Cases Are Soaring In Britain Again, More Than In Europe. Why?
Once again Britain has one of the highest rates of Covid infection anywhere. The U.K. just reported its biggest single day Covid case increase in three months and a 16% increase in confirmed cases in the week to Oct. 18. The government has warned of a bad winter. Even in the era of vaccines, the risks aren’t trivial. (Therese Raphael, 10/19)