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As COVID cases rise, U.S. health officials mull widening additional booster eligibility

Stock Markets May 18, 2022 03:11PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People queue to be tested for COVID-19 in Times Square, as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 20, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Ahmed Aboulenein and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Health officials are considering extending the eligibility for a second COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to people under 50 amid a steady rise in cases, with the United States seeing a threefold increase over the past month.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had in late March authorized a second booster dose of the Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer/BioNTech SE vaccines for people aged 50 and older, citing data showing waning immunity and the risks posed by Omicron variants of the virus.

"With regard to a fourth dose for those under the age of 50, that is going to require action from the FDA, and we're in conversations there," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walenksy said on Wednesday.

Cases have steadily risen over the past five weeks, Walensky said at a White House briefing, with the the current seven-day average of daily cases rising 26% from the previous week to 94,000 cases per day and up threefold over the last month. The seven-day average for hospitalizations was up 19% to about 3,000 per day and the average for deaths was 275 per day, she said.

"We of course must remember that each person lost to COVID-19 is a tragedy and that nearly 300 deaths a day is still far too many," said Walensky.

As COVID cases rise, U.S. health officials mull widening additional booster eligibility
 

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Comments (3)
William Smith
William Smith May 18, 2022 7:30PM ET
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Gee, after telling us that boosters dont work but for 3 weeks they are now widening eligibility. What fools we have destroying America. India, who uses primarily non mRNA vaccines has one of the lowest per capita infection rates in the world. Not to mention Ivermectin is sold over the counter and widely used as a prophylactic.
Kilo Romeo
Kilo Romeo May 18, 2022 7:30PM ET
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after the shot, you have anti bodies for 3 or so weeks. t cells make anti bodies in response to the virus for many months after that. each booster increases your body's ability to make ******antibodies even though they may no longer be present in your blood.
Kilo Romeo
Kilo Romeo May 18, 2022 7:30PM ET
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did not intend to post thrice
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA May 18, 2022 2:12PM ET
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Mention of covid will certainly trigger the snowflakes
Rubber Necker
Rubber Necker May 18, 2022 12:47PM ET
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This fantasy will eventually end.
 
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