New York: Next week, the U.S. is supposed to roll out Covid-19 booster shots to most adults. But with new studies driving a fierce debate, the plan’s contours are up in the air.
The White House has already been forced to delay offering Moderna boosters. U.S. drug regulators will meet in the coming days to discuss Pfizer-BioNTech’s application to offer booster shots to those 16 and older, but the path is far from certain.
Conflicting reviews this week illustrate why. In a review made public on Wednesday, U.S. drug regulators raised caveats about third doses. In The Lancet this week, an article argued that there was no credible evidence that the vaccines’ potency declined substantially over time.
Evidence in favor of boosters came from a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, also released on Wednesday, which indicated that recipients of a third Pfizer shot in Israel were far less likely to develop severe Covid than those who had received two shots. But experts cautioned that the study had limited data and covered a short time frame.
What’s next: Even if the agency approves the application, the Centers for Disease Control might recommend boosters only for those 65 and older or others who are particularly at risk, according to people familiar with the discussions.