08/29/2021 / By Mary Villareal
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and more and more businesses and organizations are pushing for mandates for their employees to get inoculated, with a third booster shot being pushed aggressively by officials.
However, scientists have questions over the strength of the evidence to push with such protocols, as such decisions are “rash and based on weak evidence.”
There is little information regarding the safety of the booster shots, including potential side effects that people may face and for whom the additional dose will be beneficial.
Experts also noted that the guilt-ridden drive to line up for booster shots fuel more confusion. Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an adviser to the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration noted that what these booster shots are doing is scaring people. “We sent a terrible message. We just sent a message out there that people who consider themselves fully vaccinated were not fully vaccinated. And that’s the wrong message because you are protected against serious illness.”
It is also important to note that the government is not keeping track of the number of people getting breakthrough infections — they are only keeping track of those that end up in hospitalizations or death.
Overall, the hesitancy over getting shots isn’t as rare as the media wants people to believe — only about half of eligible Americans are fully inoculated, as per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In a recent interview, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admitted that people who have had the shot could experience “worsening infections over time.” She did not offer any insight on whether this trend could be related to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), which happens when antibodies generated during an immune response recognize and bind to a pathogen, but cannot prevent infection.
Instead, officials have been using such worsening infections as a call for people to have their booster shots merely eight months after their second dose.
Yet, reports of adverse health reactions and deaths following the shots continue to roll in: the CDC noted that there had been over 595,700 adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) since December 14, 2020, including 13,068 deaths as of August 13, 2021. (Related: Even the WHO says booster shots are unnecessary, but Biden’s White House prefers to listen to Big Pharma: BOOSTER covid shots coming to the USA.)
Based on available data on vaccine protection, it is not clear whether younger, healthier individuals will find themselves at risk. “We don’t know if that translates into a problem with the vaccine doing what is most important, which is protect against hospitalization, death, and serious disease,” said Dr. Jesse Goodman, an infectious disease expert at Georgetown University in Washington and a former chief scientist at the FDA.
Some experts also questioned the focus on booster shots when many more eligible Americans are yet to get their first vaccine dose despite surging cases in the country.
Dr. Dan McQuillen, an infectious disease specialist in Burlington, Massachusetts said that more important than boosters is ensuring that everyone is vaccinated as fast as possible.
Experts emphasized the need to inoculate the vast number of people around the world who are yet to access any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, epidemiologist and adjunct professor at Cornell University Public Health, said: “You could end up in situation where you are chasing your tail, giving more and more boosters in the U.S. and Western Europe, while more dangerous variants are coming from other places. In reality you should be vaccinating the rest of the world to avoid new variants.”
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