Following a series of endorsements over the last month by scientific panels advising federal agencies, tens of millions of Americans are now eligible for booster shots of coronavirus vaccines.
But the recommendations — even those approved unanimously — mask significant dissent and disquiet among those advisers about the need for booster shots in the United States.
In interviews last week, several advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to the Food and Drug Administration said data show that, with the exception of adults over age 65, the vast majority of Americans are already well protected against severe illness and do not need booster shots.
All the advisers acknowledged that they were obligated to make difficult choices, based on sparse research, in the middle of a public health emergency. But some said they felt compelled to vote for the shots because of the way the federal agencies framed the questions that they were asked to consider.
Well, Pfizer alone has 700 lobbyists in Washington. So the agencies know how to frame things.
Other committee experts said that they wanted to avoid confusing the public further by dissenting, or that they voted according to their views of the evidence and were simply overruled.
“These are not evidence-based recommendations,” said Dr. Sarah S. Long, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and a member of the C.D.C.’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Like I said.