Teachers should be placed in a high-risk category to receive COVID booster shots, according to the director of the National Institutes of Health.
The head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Francis Collins, has stated that putting teachers in a high-risk COVID-19 group so that they can obtain booster doses is something he supports.
Collins remarked on CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday that teachers may be considered a risk population, especially if they deal with unvaccinated youngsters.
“I believe they may be seen in that environment; after all, they are in conditions, especially if they are in schools with children under the age of 12 who are not vaccinated and are at a larger risk of exposure than the rest of us,” Collins said.
“Perhaps they fall into the same category as health care practitioners in that regard,” he remarked.
Collins’ comments came just days after a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee turned down Pfizer’s request to add a third booster shot to its two-dose schedule for anyone aged 16 and up. The FDA panel stated that further data is needed for approval and that the third jabs should only be given to persons 65 and older, as well as other vulnerable Americans.
On Friday, Dr. Michael G. Kurilla, a committee member and official at the National Institutes of Health, said, “It’s unclear that everyone has to be raised, other than a segment of the population that clearly would be at high risk for catastrophic disease.”
However, the FDA panel did not identify who should be eligible for the third vaccine among at-risk populations. People with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic illnesses were previously deemed high-risk for COVID-19.
At-risk individuals should also include health care workers, emergency responders, and those whose employment place them at exceptional danger, such as teachers, according to Dr. Peter Marks, who supervises the FDA’s vaccine division.
“The FDA panel’s vote was a touch confusing in the manner it was made. That is something the FDA will consider. However, keep an eye out for meetings of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday and Thursday. “Wrestling with what exactly is contained in that group of people with high exposure is going to be a really crucial thing for them,” Collins noted on Sunday.
Depending on the FDA’s definition of “high risk,” This is a condensed version of the information.