‘Four, if ever’ Americans demand FOUR COVID-19 vaccines – even as Pfizer, Moderna push for them

The two top US vaccine makers, Pfizer and Moderna, are both hoping to get the fourth dose of COVID-19 out the door soon, but some experts doubt they are necessary because of continued Covid-19 cases. continues to plummet in the US, and the virus poses less of a threat against Americans.

Anna Durbin is an international public health expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has been a critic of Pfizer, Moderna, and the White House’s insistence on deploying COVID-boosting shots -19 before they are needed. This week, she told the ABC she doesn’t believe many Americans will benefit from the additional shots.

“There are very few, if any, people asking for a fourth dose,” she said.

In August, when the White House was planning to deploy the first round of COVID-19 booster shots, Durbin was also a critic, telling that there was little science to back up the decision.

A very small number of Americans are eligible for a fourth COVID-19 shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises immunocompromised people to get the booster shot now, despite the lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Dr Anna Durbin (pictured), a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, says there is little data to support the need for Americans to get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine

Dr Anna Durbin (pictured), a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, says there is little data to support the need for Americans to get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine

Dr Anna Durbin (pictured), a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, says there is little data to support the need for Americans to get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine

However, only about one in 30 Americans is immunocompromised and eligible for that fourth shot right now.

Pfizer and Moderna are also hoping to deliver their fourth dose to the rest of Americans. Earlier this week, Moderna submitted data to the FDA in an effort to approve a fourth dose for all US adults. This happened after Pfizer sent data on the fourth shot to all Americans 65 and older.

The FDA is expected to authorize both companies to add an additional injection to their Covid regimens.

Dr Paul Goepfert, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told the ABC: “In general, it’s too early to recommend a fourth dose, except for people with compromised immune systems.

Americans’ interest in getting more Covid photos has also stalled, with the nation’s ramped-up rollout scoring low this week.

Cases and deaths caused by the virus are also continuing to decline, and the ‘stealth’ variant that has taken over much of Europe in recent months has not resonated much in the US so far. .

The US has an average of 29,490 Covid cases per day as of Friday, down 10% over the past seven days according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country is averaging 892 daily deaths, down 25% over the past seven days.

The ‘stealth’ variant, which gets its moniker from its ability to avoid detection through certain sequencing methods, is believed to be the most infectious version of Covid – but just as mild as Omciron’s BA.1 version. took over the world last year.

According to the most recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week, BA.2 accounts for 35% of active Covid cases in the US, with BA.1 still predominating. .

However, the rate of BA.2 Covid infections in the US is on the rise, with this variant accounting for only 23% of cases last week.

Moderna’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, said this week that he expects the US to soon experience the spike spurred by BA.2, and that his company’s vaccine will be needed to keep it under control. it.

Bancel told CNBC’s: ‘There are already a number of countries around the world that have introduced a fourth dose trial in people at high risk. Box of Squaw.

‘There’s a huge wave of BA.2 variation in Europe right now, as many public health experts have said this will start in the US soon.’

However, a growing list of experts are saying the exact opposite.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and one who has frequently voiced more caution during the pandemic, said at a Washington Post event. this week.

‘I really don’t understand, unless something changes dramatically, that there’s going to be a big spike.’

The stealth variant BA.2, which is believed to be the reason for the recent increase in cases, would likely have started the spike in the US if it did so soon, say experts at Harvard University. so.

Bronwyn MacInnis, director of surveillance of pathogen genomes at Harvard’s Broad Institute, told the Harvard Gazette: “There’s really no indication that an increase in cases or deaths in the region corresponds to an increase in the number of cases or deaths in the region. increased BA.2 infections that we’re seeing. week.

While it has yet to make a major impact on case numbers, data from abroad – referenced by Bancel – is cause for some concern.

Some countries that have been reducing the number of cases for months, such as the UK, France and Denmark, suddenly saw infection rates start to rise last week. However, cases appear to have stabilized in these countries and development has come to a halt.

Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there were more than 12 million cases of Covid-19 globally last week, up 7% from the previous week.

However, the number of deaths fell 23% to less than 33,000 – another sign that the mortality rate caused by the virus is falling.

The increase in cases is entirely concentrated in the Western Pacific region, where the number of daily infections increased 23% last week. In Europe, infections stabilized after a slight increase of two percent last week.

Either way, a fourth dose may not be inevitable, even if the number of cases remains low. Fauci, Bancel and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla are among those who say an additional dose is being worked on for months, and Bourla even said that annual attacks will be needed within next decade to control the pandemic.

While the shots have been deemed safe and effective by health officials around the world, and have potentially saved millions of lives over the past year, Pfizer and Moderna’s goals in developing the vaccine are still not clear. Please not purely humane.

Each company has made billions of dollars selling vaccines to the United States and other countries around the world.

Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna partners estimate total COVID-19 vaccine sales at $50 billion this year, and those numbers will rise even higher if a fourth dose is approved.

Just before Moderna’s submission, Pfizer applied to the FDA for a fourth Covid drug to be approved for Americans 65 and older.

Both companies are also hoping to launch promotions for young children in the near future. Currently, the Moderna shotgun is only available to adults in the United States, while the Pfizer is available to those 5 years of age and older.

On Wednesday, Moderna announced that it has successfully completed Phases 2 and 3 clinical trials of a COVID-19 shot in children 6 months to 17 years of age.

The shots, which are one-quarter the size of an adult shot, have been shown to be about 40% effective at preventing infection from the Omicron variant – similar to the level of protection it provides. for adults.

Pfizer has had some problems getting its vaccine to the youngest age groups. The company had to change the Covid vaccine regimen for the youngest children from two doses to three, because the smaller dose, three micrograms, was almost completely ineffective in three- and four-year-olds.

The New York City-based company has also submitted data to regulators on Covid stabbing behavior in children under the age of 5, although the approval process was halted earlier this year.

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