The FDA will meet Friday to discuss whether vaccine reinforcement is approved for all Americans, even though more than two million have already received one. It’s a decision that North Texas officials are watching closely.
While health officials agree that vaccines work, they continue to debate whether a third dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is needed.
A study conducted in Israel with approximately 1,000,000 people found that those with an extra dose are much less likely to become infected soon after. Pfizer and Moderna leaders have agreed that boosters could increase protection.
But FDA reviewers themselves have remained neutral, saying U.S.-authorized vaccines “still offer protection against serious COVID-19 disease and death.”
Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center, told NBC News that the remaining debate could lead to confusion, or worse, mistrust.
“It’s normal for scientists not to have a consensus on a specific topic. The problem is that we are now in a very toxic environment due to all the aggressions of anti-vaccine groups “, said Hotez.
Meanwhile, the White House’s message has been clear with President Biden urging Americans to receive the starting shot.
In North Texas, UT Southwestern has already announced that it will begin offering third doses of Pfizer and Modern during the 8 months following its last dose starting Sept. 20.
The hospital group has already made them available to immunocompromised people.
Dallas County has done the same, but officials there, along with those from Denton County, said they were overseeing Friday’s meeting to determine when they will offer reinforcement to the general public.
Should the FDA give the green light, it is up to the CDC to determine which Americans should receive a booster and when.
Once that is decided, Denton County says those interested do not need to rejoin its vaccine portal.
Dallas County is asking people to re-register.