Much of the muddle stems from legacy systems at the FDA and CDC that were set up to handle routine drug approvals and childhood vaccinations, not a fast-moving public health crisis involving the entire population, said Jay A. Winsten, founding director of the Center for Health Communications at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices includes infectious-disease specialists, obstetricians and pediatricians who grappled Thursday with questions they have no expertise in, such as whether offering boosters might undermine public confidence in the vaccines’ efficacy.
“What’s missing from the equation are communication experts,” said Winsten, including specialists in public-opinion polling and behavior change. “They need a seat at the table.”
Sure. Let’s give PR flaks and pollsters the responsibility and let them take the heat. What could go wrong?
This is the kind of “competent leadership” that Biden promised during the campaign? It’s a clusterfark from beginning to end, top to bottom. It’s not “following the science” to allow changes to the guidelines made by people not qualified to make any decision at all about the efficacy of booster shots.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky broke with her vaccine advisory panel late Thursday to endorse younger at-risk people returning to work to get the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot — a rare move that goes against the panel’s recommendation.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices panel voted that young workers not get the booster and that it be given only to Americans over 65 and those over 50 with underlying medical conditions.
The move illustrates the discord ringing between the Biden administration higher-ups, such as Walensky, and the advisory panel that recommends a course of action based on available scientific data.
Why have an Advisory Committee in the first place if you’re not going to follow its recommendations?
What a mess.