Nearly 40 percent of Americans said would prefer giving vaccines to developing nations over prioritizing booster shots for those in the U.S., a new poll from Yahoo News and YouGov has found.
The survey asked respondents whether they believe offering domestic booster shots or providing vaccines to other countries was more important. It found 38 percent of people favored offering “first shots to as many unvaccinated people in other countries as possible,” while 32 percent said it was more important to offer boosters to as many Americans as possible. The remaining 30 percent of people said they were undecided.
The poll, which surveyed 1,610 U.S. adults between September 14 and September 16, also found that 73 percent of vaccinated Americans would get a booster shot if it became available to them. The study’s margin of error is about 2.6 percent.
On Friday, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) advisory committee declined a request from Pfizer to add a third booster shot to its two-dose regimen for those aged 16 and older, saying more data was needed for approval.
“It’s unclear that everyone needs to be boosted, other than a subset of the population that clearly would be at high risk for serious disease,” Dr. Michael G. Kurilla, a member of the FDA advisory committee member and official at the National Institutes of Health, said Friday.
The committee did, however, recommend emergency approval of a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for those who are 65 and older or at high risk of severe COVID-19 cases and who were fully vaccinated at least six months ago.
While Biden announced a plan to swiftly make boosters available in the U.S. the World Health Organization ( WHO ) has criticized countries that are considering offering third shots. It has called nations to refrain from offering booster shots until more vaccines are made available to poorer countries.
Earlier this month, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “appalled” after vaccine manufacturers said there is enough supply to allow for both booster shots in wealthy countries and vaccines in countries lacking doses.
“I will not stay silent when companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers,” he said.
In a paper published in The Lancet this month, a group of scientists raised concerns about booster shots , warning against offering them too soon. They noted that “unnecessary” boosters causing “significant adverse reactions,” could fuel vaccine hesitancy.
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