|Sister Barbara Sullivan, 84, receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination drive for retired nuns at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet independent living center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 3, 2021. (Photo by= Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted on Friday (Sep 17) to recommend COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for Americans 65 and older and those at high risk of severe illness, after overwhelmingly rejecting a call for broader approval, Reuters reported. The panel also recommended that the FDA include healthcare workers and others at high risk of occupational exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, such as teachers.
The White House has said it is ready to roll out boosters of the vaccine next week once health officials authorize them. Despite the narrowed scope of the proposed authorization, the panel's recommendation would cover most Americans who got their shots in the earliest stages of the US vaccination campaign.
The FDA is expected to make its decision on the third round of shots soon. It is not bound by the panel's recommendation but will take it into consideration. Dr Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the panel, said the recommendation was "a step back" from the Biden Administration's recommendation of widespread boosters starting Sep 20.