coronavirus pandemic

Confusion Lingers Over Who Could Get COVID-19 Booster Shot

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Medical experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be meeting Friday to decide if they will green light a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccines.

But there's some conflicting information about who should get the boosters.

For a while now, President Joe Biden's administration had been considering approving third shot boosters for everyone.

But as of Wednesday night, there’s more uncertainty after the FDA said they wouldn’t take a stance on the subject.

It’s the mixed messaging that’s causing some confusion for many people.

The reason? The FDA said it hasn't independently reviewed all of the available data and studies.

Currently, some people with compromised immune systems are already eligible for a third dose of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

But as for those still waiting, they have some questions.

“A lot of patients coming into our clinic sites, asking for the third dose, and we have to say no to those individuals if they don't fit into,” said Dr. Harsha Ramchandani, Bay Area community Health.

She said an article published this week in the Lancet Medical Journal by two members of the FDA review panel creates even more questions than answers.

“There's a lot of confusion among the patients about the third doses. And I don't blame patients for that. There's so much data also out there,” said Ramchandani.

The panel meeting this Friday will consider and decide who will be eligible for booster shots and when they can get them.

The most recent concern especially through the summer surge of delta variant infections are breakthrough cases, that have been serious and even fatal in some populations.

UCSF professor of epidemiology Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said there's recent concern the effectiveness of the vaccines may be waning over time. So, boosters in vulnerable populations will help.

The Biden administration had mentioned that boosters would start to be available beginning next week.

Many people are anticipating what the FDA panel will decide on Friday.

Pfizer officials said Wednesday night that new data shows COVID-19 booster shots may be needed six months after primary doses.

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