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Not Yet a Need

An international group of experts says most people do not yet need a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine booster, the New York Times reports.

In a commentary appearing in the Lancet, the team — which includes World Health Organization officials, two outgoing US Food and Drug Administration officials, and others — says currently available evidence does not support the need for vaccine boosters for most people who are not immunocompromised. The authors write that, to date, studies have not shown a decline in the protection vaccines provide against severe COVID-19, though a decrease in protection against symptomatic disease has occurred.

As the Associated Press notes, the commentary authors include Phil Krause and Marion Gruber, two FDA officials who recently announced they would be leaving their positions. Endpoints News reported last week that the pair was bothered by "the White House getting ahead of FDA on booster shots." The Biden Administration announced in August that US adults would be eligible for a booster eight months after receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses.

"It's always a fundamental error of process to make a scientific announcement before the public health agencies have acted and that's exactly what happened here," Georgetown University's Larry Gostin tells the AP.

Additionally, the WHO has called for a moratorium on vaccine boosters until more of the world has received their initial inoculations.