CDC Director's New Decision on Booster Shots Raises Even More Questions

Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Earlier this month, Joe Biden got out over his skis and promoted that adults over the age of 16 should get booster shots.

He even said distribution would begin on a certain date – September 20.

Except the problem was that the FDA wasn’t quite on board with it all. While they endorsed it for those who were 65 years and over, as well as those at high risk of severe disease, they didn’t endorse it for everyone else. That blew up Biden’s plans for a huge roll-out. Two senior FDA officials even quit last month, reportedly over what they felt was a rush to push out the shots for everyone in the country.

The FDA then issued an emergency use authorization for the booster shot for those 65 and over, as well as those at risk of severe disease. They also included a third group — those 18-64 “whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19.”

Then the CDC got involved.

On Thursday, the CDC’S Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that booster shots be given to older Americans, and younger individuals who are at higher risk for severe cases of COVID-19.

The recommendation, however, did not include health care workers, teachers, and others whose jobs place them at heightened risk.

So, they didn’t include the FDA’s third group.

But then the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky overruled the agency panel recommendation, a very unusual move.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford and a liaison to the CDC panel from the American Academy of Pediatrics told the New York Times, “I am surprised that Dr. Walensky overturned one of the four ACIP votes today, and I believe others will be as well.”

So basically, what it came down to was Walensky overruling her own people. Was that to be more in line with the Biden effort to push out the booster shots to as many people as possible? Because that’s surely what it looks like. And we still don’t have any real data as to the necessity.

Former Bush official Ari Fleischer even pointed out the timing of Walensky’s actions, in relation to Joe Biden’s speech this morning about booster shots.