As coronavirus-positive hospitalizations increase across the country, some wonder if a second COVID-19 booster shot will be made available to all young adults under 50.
Currently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a second booster for anyone age 50 and older, as well as immunocompromised people age 12 and older, at least four months after a first booster. The CDC also recently recommended a first booster shot for children ages 5 to 11 after completing their primary vaccination series.
Officials and scientists said the strongest evidence in support of a second booster shot has been seen in the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. there has not been much data showing a benefit for young adults.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said the decision to expand the availability of a second booster rests with the US Food and Drug Administration and the CDC.
“I really leave that up to the FDA to decide based on the review of the evidence,” Jha said during a Thursday briefing.
Jha said the data he saw on the effectiveness of a second booster was in older people.
He also said children under age 5 could become eligible for their first COVID-19 vaccines as early as June 21 if the FDA and CDC approve the series of vaccinations for that age group.
An FDA advisory committee will meet June 14-15 and discuss policy recommendations to the federal agency, and the FDA is expected shortly thereafter to make a decision on whether to make the series of vaccinations available for younger people. children ; the CDC will then make its own recommendation.
“We cannot ship vaccines until the FDA clears those vaccines. And vaccinations cannot begin until the CDC releases its recommendations,” Jha said. “So we expect vaccinations to start in earnest as early as Tuesday, June 21 and really continue throughout this week.”
“Now it will take some time to ramp up the program and for the vaccines to be more widely available. And as doses arrive across the country, the more sites with vaccines, the more appointments will be available. And we hope that within a few weeks every parent who wants their child to be vaccinated will be able to get an appointment,” Jha said.