A top vaccination expert and pediatrician is warning parents of healthy youngsters that getting the new covid booster shot could carry risks and its effectiveness has yet to be proven.
Dr. Paul Offitt, director of the Center for Immunization Education at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee, said the benefit of a third shot weighing on the risk has not been fully sold.
Who really benefits from the other size? Offit said on CNN.
Studies have shown that people who are over 65, immunocompromised or have chronic diseases are less likely to get the virus if they get their third or fourth vaccination.
The newly developed dose, called the bivalent vaccine, is a cocktail of the original coronavirus strain with components of the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. The hope is that humans can fight off a wider range of highly contagious viral mutations.
But writing in Wall Street Journal Earlier this week, Offit reported that preliminary data indicated that the new bivalent vaccines are worse at preventing covid infections than the first generation of vaccines.
It highlights data comparing Moderna’s original covid vaccine and the new two-part update. Of the test groups given both vaccines, 11 people who received the bivalent vaccine contracted the virus, while only five people who received the primary ‘monovalent’ shot contracted COVID.
Offit warned that the Biden administration’s ‘handover’ of the new bivalent vaccines without more information could erode public confidence in them.
Dr. Paul Offitt, however, warns that there are still risks in healthy young adults that should be considered before getting the covid booster vaccine.
Shown here, 14-year-old Sean Bagley recently received his bivalent vaccine at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Penn.
He explained that the recent FDA approval of the new vaccine, developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, comes with few guarantees and some risks.
‘A healthy young person cannot benefit from an additional dose,’ he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccine side effects such as myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, an inflammation of the outer lining of the heart, are rare but occur more often in adolescents and young men.
Myocarditis can be fatal, young people are less likely to be affected by covid infection than older people.
President Joe Biden said in an interview with CBS News that the Covid-19 pandemic is ‘over’.
‘When you ask people to get vaccinated, I think there needs to be clear evidence of benefit,’ he says, adding that recent clinical trials have been unrealistic. ‘You want to have at least human data,’ he said. So far, the only tests on the new shots have been done on lab rats.
‘Nowadays they’re saying we have to trust mouse data, and I don’t think that should ever be true.’
Offit voted against approving the new vaccine.
‘I think it’s unfair to ask people to take a risk, no matter how small, without clear evidence of benefit,’ Offit said.
The doctor recently warned that pushing the new injection without supporting evidence risks ‘eroding public confidence’.
So far, studies on the bivalent vaccine have been ‘difficult’, he said.
The focus on boosters clashes with President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the ‘epidemic is over’.
“The epidemic is over,” Biden told 60 Minutes. We still have a problem with covid. We are still working on it. But the epidemic is over. If you notice, no one is wearing a mask. Everyone seems to be doing well, and so I think it’s changing.’
The president’s statement contradicts what his administration’s health officials have been saying.
“We still have a virus out there that is still spreading and killing hundreds of Americans,” Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said at a press conference on September 9.
I think we all need to come together to protect Americans…and do everything we can to get our health care system through a difficult fall and winter.
He may have submitted his own $22.4 billion request to Congress to continue the fight against the virus.
In the past two weeks, there have been an average of 54,000 new cases of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University, and about 400 Americans are infected with the virus every day.