Hours after Pfizer issued its statement, the FDA and Centers for Disease and Control issued a joint statement saying Americans do not need booster shots yet.
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time,” they said.
In a statement to CNN on Friday, the World Health Organization said, “We don’t know whether booster vaccines will be needed to maintain protection against COVID-19 until additional data is collected,” adding, “limited data available on how long the protection from current doses lasts and whether an additional booster dose would be beneficial and for whom.”
How you think about this comes all down to trust.
Who do you trust? The companies that developed the vaccines which appear to be far more effective against COVID-19 than we could have hoped? Or the government agencies that failed to provide the correct advice about COVID-19 prevention for months.
Who do you trust? The companies that are seeking to profit off a pandemic by pushing possibly unneeded booster shots, using scare tactics that are familiar from their marketing of other drugs? Or the government agencies who failed to coerce a huge chunk of the adult population to get vaccinated, due to a failure in messaging, incentives and coordination of rollout?
It may seem like I am arguing against the FDA, CDC, and WHO here. I don’t think I am, and I certainly have no data or expertise to refute either side’s claims. I am simply observing that these institutions are deservedly suffering from an erosion in public trust, and that is going to make any decision making based on what they say, or based on what pharmaceutical companies or health care providers say, more difficult.