Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, also said about 400 people each day in the U.S. are dying as the result of being infected by COVID, In addition to thousands of others in hospitals with the disease.
The Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 31 authorized the updated booster shots by Pfizer and Moderna.
The shots contain elements of the original COVID strain and the BA.4, and BA.5 virus variants. But no human data has been made available for the formulations.
Preclinical testing data from experiments on mice were presented by both of the pharmaceutical firms, and references were made to the human data for a different formulation, combinations of the original and BA.1 strains.
With the BA.5 being the dominant variant in the United States, “you have every reason to believe that [the updated formulation] is going to be better than having a vaccine that isn’t highly specific to the circulating strain,” also said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“That hasn’t been proven in a clinical trial,” he also said.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said on Aug. 29 that waiting for data from human clinical trials would leave the boosters outdated.
“If we wait for those data to emerge in human data, not just mice data, we will be using what I would consider to be a potentially outdated vaccine,” she said.
Dr. Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, called Fauci’s comments “reckless” since regulators didn’t previously rush vaccine companies to update the COVID vaccines.
Risch was also critical of Walensky, saying that the CDC shows that variant BA.4.6, which is not part of the updated boosters, is becoming a more prevalent strain.
“By the time that a supposed new winter wave of infections would occur in late November or December, it will likely be BA.4.6, and the new booster will be outdated anyway,” Risch told The Epoch Times.
Even if BA.5 continues to be the dominant strain, the duration of the booster’s benefit won’t likely be much better than the current one, which just provides an increase in protection for several weeks, Risch continued, referencing a published study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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