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the coronavirus crisis

Infectious disease expert says White House 'caving to anxious Americans' on COVID-19 boosters

The Biden administration's determination to make COVID-19 booster shots widely available may be undermining confidence in the available vaccines, Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, told The Atlantic.

"Whether it's the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson, you consistently have excellent protection against severe illness," he said, adding that that hasn't changed despite an increasing number of breakthrough infections. 

Now, Offit said he's hearing from people who are nervous about losing their immunity if they don't get a booster quickly. "We've scared people into thinking they're no longer protected," he said.

Céline Grounder, an infectious disease expert and epemiologist who once served as a member of Biden's transition-team COVID-19 advisory board, has a slightly view of the situation. She thinks that the general anxiety about breakthrough cases among President Biden's base of voters is actually influencing the White House's messaging, rather than the other way around. "They're caving to anxious Americans who want as many doses as possible of the vaccine as possible because they're fearful of what breakthrough infections could mean," Grounder told The Atlantic. Read more at The Atlantic.