Several outside experts had an off-the-record phone call with federal health officials last week during which they objected to the White House's plan to eventually make COVID-19 vaccine booster shots available to all previously-vaccinated adults, Politico reports, citing five people familiar with the matter. The experts reportedly made the case that current data does not back up the strategy and that only people who are at most at risk of severe coronavirus infections should get the extra dose.
The phone call was "very tense," one source told Politico, and involved pretty clear disagreements between the outside voices and Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser. Fauci is in the camp that supports a wide booster rollout with the goal of reducing the spread of the virus, rather than just limiting hospitalizations and death. He also argued the U.S. didn't face a choice between boosters and donating extra doses to other countries that need their initial shots. Several participants on the call were left "mystified" by the exchange and the government's plan, Politico reports. Read more about Politico.