CDC Director Defends Controversial Call on Pfizer’s Covid Booster

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, elected Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will speak at an event at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AP

CDC director Rochelle Walensky claimed on Friday that he did not dismiss the Vaccine Advisory Board by expanding the authorities’ approval for Pfizer’s Covid booster to include proposals rejected by the panel.

In a rare move, Warrensky withdrew from the CDC’s Immunization Implementation Advisory Board. The committee voted against the approval of vaccines for people in high-risk infected environments on Thursday. Warrensky has adopted three other recommendations from the panel to distribute third shots to adults with underlying illness and to all persons over the age of 65. She said the final vote to clear additional doses for teachers, health care workers and other important employees was a “scientific close call.”

“I want to be very clear that I didn’t dismiss the advisory board,” Warensky said in a briefing at Whitehouse Covid on Friday. “I listened to all the minutes of the FDA Advisory Board and spent hours publicly and very transparently discussing some of these very difficult questions and where science is, this exceptional scientist. Listened enthusiastically to the group. “

Warrensky’s directive is in close agreement with the Food and Drug Administration’s Wednesday ruling on boosters. The agency also opposed advice from a panel of scientific advisors by approving shots for a wider audience than approved by the Vaccine and Related Biopharmaceutical Advisory Board.

“This was a close scientific call,” Warensky said, citing a long two-day meeting and lively discussions. “That was my call. If I were in the room, I would have voted in favor,” Warensky said in a split vote.

She sought to reassure public confidence by encouraging people to return and listen to the Commission’s deliberations. “We did it publicly, transparently, and with some of the best scientists in the country,” she added.

President Joe Biden said the CDC’s recommendations expanded boosters to about 60 million Americans, including educators, health care workers and supermarket employees, at a briefing on Friday morning. Wider booster standards better protect front-line workers and explain vaccination disparities that affect people of color, Warensky said.

“I also recognize that this pandemic had a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority communities,” Warensky said. “Many of our frontline workers, essential workers, and those at meetings come from communities that have already been hit hardest.”

She said refraining from accessing boosters in these groups would only exacerbate the pandemic inequality that caused black and Hispanic Covid patients to die at a higher rate than whites.

According to the CDC, more than 55% of the United States has been fully vaccinated, and more than 2.4 million people have been boosted since authorities approved boosters for individuals with a weakened immune system on August 13. increase.

Walensky said the agency will work to quickly evaluate booster data from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in the coming weeks.

“The CDC will have a number of advisory boards to consider many future decisions, including Moderna, J & J, and pediatric vaccination,” Walensky said.

CDC Director Defends Controversial Call on Pfizer’s Covid Booster

Source link CDC Director Defends Controversial Call on Pfizer’s Covid Booster

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