The panel’s recommendations are not binding and differ somewhat between the two products. The Moderna vaccine, like a similar vaccine jointly manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, was a two-dose schedule while J&J was a single vaccine.
Some of the experts on the FDA’s external panel were troubled by the amount of data – or lack thereof – presented by the companies in order to formulate their recommendations this week, although those qualms ultimately did not stop them from supporting the boosters.
Fauci told host Chris Wallace that data collected in the United States and elsewhere, primarily Israel, indicates the need for booster injections to guard against diminishing protection against the deadly coronavirus. He said a top priority remains to try to convince the tens of millions of people in the country who are eligible to be vaccinated but have not yet done so to get the vaccine.
“As we’ve seen in the past with other waves we’ve been through, there is a danger of a resurgence,” Fauci said.
Fauci also refused to directly confront opposition from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican elected officials over vaccination requirements imposed by government or private companies. However, he proposed that “from a public health point of view, this is really unfortunate”.
He said he understood where these officials were coming from in terms of fear of infringing on individual freedom and autonomy, “but when you are in a public health crisis, sometimes unusual situations require unusual actions.” .
“We don’t live in a vacuum as individuals. We live in a society and society must be protected, ”Fauci said.