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October 22, 2021

CDC Authorizes Boosters for Those Who Got Moderna or J&J Initial Shots

How many people have died because these approvals were caught in bureaucracy for at least a month?

Yes, people who have declined vaccination are a risk to others. Yes, there should be requirements for vaccination. Yes, vaccination saves lives – not only of those who get the jab but of the people they don’t spread the virus to.

So why the hell haven’t I been able to get my Moderna booster in the month since Pfizer boosters were approved? Why can’t I sign up for it now (I tried!), Why aren’t children over the age of five getting their shots? The President says vaccines save lives; he’s right. But inaction in the government he runs is killing people willing to be vaccinated by denying them the shots they need. Yes. Killing people. Vaccinations save lives; not getting fully vaccinated – whether by choice or because the government still forbids it, kills people. It’s really that simple.

Ever since the third dose of Pfizer was authorized for vulnerable populations, it’s been clear that Moderna and J&J boosters were going to be authorized “soon”.  I’m vulnerable by age so will probably get my Moderna booster soon. But why have I had to wait? Not for new data. The data is in; the effectiveness of the original shots fade with time like many vaccinations. Israel and other countries have been giving 3rd shots for a while so we know that they do save lives and do not seem to have short-term negative effects. We’re not waiting for data; we’re waiting for bureaucracy. First the FDA staff recommends (no one really cares what they recommend); then the FDA consultants recommend (they were unanimous on Moderna and J&J boosters); then the FDA chief weighs in; then – all of that being done – the CDC has to go through their bureaucratic process. Today a CDC advisory panel recommended the booster and tonight the CDC director signed off (can’t complain about the time between those two steps).

The states have been planning for approval; good for them. But they couldn’t finish their planning without knowing what twists would be in CDC “recommendations”. Hopefully we’ll be able to sign up for shots tomorrow. I’ll be up early and trying. Meanwhile people have been dying and infecting others while they wait. If you don’t believe that, you don’t believe vaccines save lives.

Dr. Fauci said a couple of weeks ago that it’s now clear that people who got the J&J shot should really have gotten a booster after two months. Good for him being honest; there’s no shame in the fact that we’re learning as we go along. But, if we now know that they were under-vaccinated to begin with; how can it be possible that we still haven’t gotten around to authorizing their boosters? This is an emergency.

Similarly. It’s understandable that we didn’t initially rush to approve vaccines for children. They weren’t hard hit by the first wave of the pandemic, and they are not the same as adults. More studies were needed. Those studies have been done for a while now. It was predictable that the virus would mutate to attack vulnerable populations passed over the first time and uninoculated. It was predictable that children in school – and they do have to be in school – would be potent vectors for a third wave of infection.  We all know that kids are going to be authorized in November. The data is in. What the hell are we waiting for; why are we going to let the virus have another Halloween surge?

This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s an issue of competence and resolve. If you believe that some of the unwilling should be required to be vaccinated in order to go to work, school, or use public transport, how can you not be outraged that the willing were not allowed to have the booster shots whose effectiveness has already been proven? We should have been demonstrating in the streets if we weren’t too afraid of COVID to go out in crowds. We should not be patient with bipartisan federal incompetence – death resulting.

Update: By 615 this morning (morning after evening approval by the CDC) CVS had updated their website to enable those who'd had Moderna and J&J to make appointments and I was able to get an appointment for today. State of Vermont taking appointments as of 8AM. That is good fast work.

See also: Walk the Vaccination Walk!

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