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The Biden administration is reportedly planning to giving elderly Americans the option to get a fourth COVID-19 jab this spring. 

The White House will soon be offering Americans 50 years and over a second booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, sources told The New York Times.  

The second booster is reportedly meant to protect and save lives from the predicted upcoming Covid surge fueled by the Omicron ‘stealth’ variant.

But the Biden administration has faced complications because it has not been able to accurately predict when the next COVID-19 wave will hit. 

Officials reportedly settled on offering everyone 50 and over the option of an additional booster in the event the surge occurs before fall. 

Then in the fall, Americans of all ages can get the second booster, even the elderly who already got theirs this spring – meaning they could get a fifth jab, The Times reported. 

Officials will be offering everyone 50 and over the option of an additional booster in the event the surge occurs before fall

Officials will be offering everyone 50 and over the option of an additional booster in the event the surge occurs before fall

Officials will be offering everyone 50 and over the option of an additional booster in the event the surge occurs before fall

The White House will soon be offering Americans 50 years and over a second booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines

The White House will soon be offering Americans 50 years and over a second booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines

The White House will soon be offering Americans 50 years and over a second booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines

The  Biden administration is struggling with pitching the second booster to Americans who are already dealing with vaccine fatigue.

The  Biden administration is struggling with pitching the second booster to Americans who are already dealing with vaccine fatigue.

The  Biden administration is struggling with pitching the second booster to Americans who are already dealing with vaccine fatigue. 

If the second boosters are handed out too early before the next wave, the jab might be ineffective, The Times reported. 

The administration is also struggling with pitching the second booster to Americans who are already dealing with vaccine fatigue.  

Earlier this week, Moderna submitted data to the FDA in a bid to have a fourth dose approved for all U.S. adults. This comes after Pfizer submitted data for a fourth shot for all Americans 65 and older.

The FDA is expected to grant authorization for both companies to add an additional shot to their Covid regimen.

News of plans for a fourth jab comes as cases and deaths caused by the virus are continuing to fall, and the ‘stealth’ variant that took over much of Europe in recent months has failed to make much ground in the U.S. so far.

The U.S. is averaging 29,490 Covid cases every day as of Friday, a 10 percent drop over the last seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The nation is averaging 892 daily deaths, a 25 percent fall over the past seven days.

The ‘stealth’ variant, which earned the moniker from its ability to avoid detection through some sequencing methods, is believed to be the most infectious version of Covid yet – but is just as mild as the BA.1 version of Omicron that took over the world last last year.

According to the most recent data revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week, BA.2 makes up 35 percent of active Covid cases in the U.S., with BA.1 still being dominant.

BA.2’s share of Covid infections in America is growing, though, with the variant only accounting for 23 percent of cases in the week previous.

Experts at Harvard University said that the BA.2 stealth variant, which is believed to be the reason for the recent uptick of cases, would have likely already started the beginning of a surge in America if it was going to do so anytime soon.

‘There’s really no indication of an increase in cases or deaths in the region that corresponds to this increase in BA.2 infections that we’re seeing,’ Bronwyn MacInnis, director of pathogen genomic surveillance at Harvard’s Broad Institute, told the Harvard Gazette this week. 

But despite the predicted Covid wave, some experts doubt second booster shots are necessary.

Dr. Anna Durbin is an international public health expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, has been a critic of Pfizer, Moderna and the White House’s insistence to rollout COVID-19 booster shots before they are needed. This week, she told ABC that she does not believe many Americans will benefit from additional shots.

‘There are very few, if any, people who, in my opinion require a fourth dose,’ she said. 

In August, when the White House was laying out plans to roll out the first batch COVID-19 booster shots, Durbin was also a critic, telling DailyMail.com that there was little science backing up the decision.

A very small number of Americans are already eligible for fourth COVID-19 shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people who are immunocompromised to receive the additional shot now, despite the lack of authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Only around one in every 30 Americans is immunocompromised and is eligible for that fourth shot right now, though.  

‘In general, it’s too early to recommend a fourth dose, except for those who are immune compromised,’ Dr. Paul Goepfert, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told ABC.

Americans’ interest in receiving additional Covid shots has stagnated as well, with the nation’s booster rollout reaching a low point this week. 

Source: dailymail

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