White House bristles at suggestions administration got ahead of coronavirus booster shot recommendations
White House press secretary Jen Psaki became frustrated with reporters on whether the administration worried about being seen as pressuring public health officials to approve COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.
"Every time we've talked about this, we've talked about this as [being] based on a thorough review and a thorough process to complete. It's our job to be prepared whenever we can operationalize," Psaki told reporters Thursday.
The White House had prepared to roll out its vaccine booster shot plan starting Sept. 20, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The body's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet Friday to review Pfizer’s request for approval on third doses of its vaccine.
Psaki did not respond to questions on whether President Joe Biden regretted announcing the vaccine booster shot plan last month before receiving the FDA's approval. But she dismissed concerns the delay would curb the White House's ability to deliver doses to developing countries in short supply. She told reporters it was "a false choice to suggest it's either give to the world or not."
Research is divided on whether COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are necessary, though studies from Israel and Qatar, as well as Pfizer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have found the effectiveness of the initial two doses in preventing infection does wane over time.
Two top FDA doctors, Dr. Marion Gruber and Dr. Philip Krause, reportedly resigned over the administration's push to implement its vaccine booster shot plan.
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