US US has enough COVID-19 vaccines for boosters, kids' shots
FDA advisory committee to determine if COVID-19 vaccine boosters are widely needed now
Are extra shots a 'luxury' or needed for full protection against COVID-19? Food and Drug Administration experts will take up the question Friday.At root is whether the extra shots are "luxuries" or an essential part of providing complete protection against the virus, presidential adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health authorities said they're confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-too-distant future.
The spike in demand — expected following last week's— would be the first significant jump in months. More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the enticement of lottery prizes, free food or gifts and pleas from exhausted health care workers as the in recent weeks.
US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for seniors, high-risk
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dealing the White House a stinging setback, a government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan Friday to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots across the board, and instead endorsed the extra vaccine dose only for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. The twin votes represented a heavy blow to the Biden administration's sweeping effort, announced a month ago, to shore up nearly all Americans' protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
Federal and state health authorities said current supply and steady production of more doses can easily accommodate those seeking boosters or initial vaccination, avoiding a repeat of the frustratingly slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the country early this year.
Top doctors say not so fast to Biden's boosters-for-all plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just one month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon deliver a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House on a pledge to “follow the science,” Biden found himself uncharacteristically ahead of it with that lofty pronouncement. Some of nation's top medical advisers on Friday delivered a stinging rebuke of the idea, in essence telling the White House: not so fast.
“I hope that we have the level of interest in the booster ... that we need more vaccines,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday. “That's simply not where we are today. We have plenty of vaccines.”
Robust supply in the U.S enabled President Joe Biden this week toof Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to share with the world, doubling the United States' global contribution. Aid groups and health organizations have pushed the U.S. and other countries to improve vaccine access in countries where even the most vulnerable people haven't had a shot.
Among the challenges states face is not ordering too many doses and letting them go to waste. Several states with low vaccination rates, including Idaho and Kansas, have reported throwing away thousands of expired doses or are struggling to use vaccines nearing expiration this fall.
MLB to require vaccinations for players to participate in Arizona Fall League
Major League Baseball is requiring players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in the Arizona Fall League, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. It marks the first instance of an MLB vaccination mandate directly affecting players. © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Last week, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported that MLB was mandating vaccinations among non-playing team personnel in order for those individuals to be granted access to the field during postseason play.
While most vaccines can stay on the shelf unopened for months, once a vial is opened the clock starts ticking. Vaccines are only usable for six to 12 hours, depending on the manufacturer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Moderna vaccines come in vials containing 11 to 15 doses. Pfizer vials contain up to six doses and Johnson & Johnson vials five doses.
“We are going to see more doses that go unused over time,” said Wisconsin's health secretary, Karen Timberlake. “They come in multidose files. They don’t come in nice, tidy individual single-serving packages.”
State health officials said they have tried to request only what health care providers and pharmacies expect to need from the federal supply. Those numbers have dwindled since the vaccines became widely available in early spring.
But U.S. officials — holding out hope that some of the unvaccinated will change their minds — are trying to keep enough vaccines in stock so all Americans can get them.
That balancing act is tricky and can lead to consternation around the globe aswhile many countries in places such as Africa can't get enough vaccines.
Booster confusion takes hold as Biden announces expanded eligibility
"We have the tools to beat Covid if we come together as a country and use the tools we have," Biden said.Biden said his administration will begin to deliver booster shots after the nation’s two leading health agencies endorsed a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for people 65 and older and those at elevated risk of severe Covid-19. The announcement is the culmination of weeks of debate inside the administration about whether data showed that vaccine efficacy was waning enough to begin to roll out doses to large swathes of the country.
“Somebody sitting in a country with few resources to access vaccines, seeing people in the U.S. able to walk into a pharmacy and get that vaccine and choosing not to, I’m sure that’s causing heartache,” said Jen Kates, senior vice president and director of global health and HIV policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents the public health agencies of all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, said officials anticipate that on-hand doses of COVID-19 vaccines and manufacturers’ ability to supply more will meet needs across the country.
“I think states have tried to plan as if everybody’s going to be offered a booster,” he said, suggesting they will be overprepared for the more narrow recommendations issued by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California, for example, estimated earlier this month that it would need to administer an extra 63 million doses by the end of 2022 — if initial shots for children under 12 were approved and boosters were open to everyone.
U.S. health officials late Thursday endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans 65 and older — along with tens of millions of younger people who are at higher risk from the coronavirus because of health conditions or their jobs.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters could mean billions for drugmakers
Billions more in profits are at stake for some vaccine makers as the U.S. moves toward dispensing COVID-19 booster shots to shore up Americans' protection against the virus. How much the manufacturers stand to gain depends on how big the rollout proves to be. The Biden administration last month announced plans to give boosters to nearly everybody. But U.S. regulators have rejected the across-the-board approach and instead said third shots of Pfizer's vaccine should go to people who are 65 and older and certain others at high risk from COVID-19.
California, with nearly 40 million residents, has the lowest transmission rate of any state and nearly 70% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. That leaves nearly 12 million people not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's health secretary, said the state will rely largely on pharmacies and primary care providers to give boosters to seniors while some large counties and health care groups will use mass vaccination sites.
In Pennsylvania, more than 67% of residents older than 18 are fully vaccinated. Alison Beam, acting secretary of health, said health authorities now have “two missions”: Continuing to persuade people to get vaccinated and serving those eager to receive a booster or initial shots.
“Pennsylvania is going to be prepared,” Beam said. "And we’re going to have the right level of vaccine and vaccinators to be able to meet that demand.”
Foody reported from Chicago. Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; and Patty Nieberg in Denver contributed.
Nieberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Biden team tangles with Covid experts in private talks over booster shots .
Several of these outside experts objected to the administration’s approach during a private, off-the-record call last week with federal health officials. Current U.S. data on vaccine performance does not justify using boosters widely to reduce the risk of breakthrough infections and slow the virus’ spread, the experts said. They told officials on the Sept.