Americans over 60 should get second booster, official says

Americans over 60 should get a second booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine, said the new White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr Ashish K. Jha said on Sunday, citing “very compelling” new data from Israel showing that the fourth shot significantly reduces infections and deaths among older people there.

Dr. Jha’s Comments, On “Fox News Sunday” came after the Food and Drug Administration on March 29 authorized second booster shot Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are for everyone age 50 and older.

The FDA said the move was an effort to strengthen weakened immunity against serious illness as a more infectious subtype of Omicron, known as ba.2, is emerging as the dominant variant of the virus in the United States. Was.

Asked whether Americans should get a second booster shot, Dr. Jha, who was named as the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response coordinator last month, pointed research from israel This indicated that the fourth shot provided strong protection against severe disease, particularly in people over the age of 60.

“The data out of Israel is very attractive to people over 60,” he said. “When people shot that second booster four months after their first booster, what we saw was a significant reduction not only in infections, but in deaths. So I think people over 60 should get it.”

The Israel study did not provide data on the effectiveness of the second booster in people younger than 60. Israel authorized a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in January for those 60 and older and other high-risk populations.

in a different way On “This Week With George Stephanopoulos”,” Dr. Jha said, adding that a second booster shot for Americans between the ages of 50 and 59 is “a very close call.” He added that people in that age group should consult a physician before getting a second booster. .

“Fifty to 59, you are eligible,” he said, noting that getting a second booster depends on a person’s risk profile.

“But for me, 60 and up, based on the data, I think it’s very reasonable,” he said. “That’s what I recommended to my elderly parents, and I think that’s what people should do.”

Dr. Jha said it remains to be seen whether BA.2 causes more severe disease than the earlier variants and subvariants of the virus. Cases are rising, but hospitalizations are at “epidemic lows,” He said on “Meet the Press”.

“The good news is that our vaccines are holding up really well against BA.2, against all Omicron variants, especially if you’ve been boosted,” he said. “So the key here is you have the opening two shots, and you have a booster. That’s what’s really protecting people at the moment.”

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