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Fauci doesn't think politics got in way of FDA booster approvals
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he did not think politics got ahead of science when a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommending booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination recipients this week.
"I'm not so sure the politics got ahead of it," Fauci said on Fox News Sunday in response to a direct question from host Chris Wallace.
"If you look at the data that's been accumulated not only from our cohorts that we're following here in the United States but the information we're getting from Israel that is critical information, it's very, very clear that there's waning immunity and that we do need to boost individuals who've received any of the three products that we've been dealing with right now."
He said that the need for boosters was not exclusive to specific vaccines but rather a need for all COVID-19 shots.
An FDA advisory committee last week recommended authorizing a second booster shot of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
The J&J vaccine has been the only shot widely distributed in the United States that has been only one shot. Data suggests that over time it is less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, though it has also proven to be an effective vaccine.
Earlier in the week, the committee had recommended booster shots for people who received Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
The committee's recommended authorization for Moderna boosters for people over 65 years old, people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infections and people who work in more risky environments, the same groups previously recommended for a Pfizer booster.
For Johnson & Johnson's shot, the recommendation would apply for anyone above 18 years old as early as two months after their first dose.
"So I don't think there's any political issue there, I think it's just public health data and evidence," Fauci added of these decisions.