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(LifeSiteNews) — A vaccine adviser to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently suggested that the latest bivalent COVID-19 booster shots should be saved for older adults with previously existing health issues and are unnecessary for healthy young people.

Dr. Paul Offit, who is also a pediatrics professor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote an article presenting his argument that was published January 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Booster dosing is probably best reserved for the people most likely to need protection against severe disease — specifically, older adults, people with multiple coexisting conditions that put them at high risk for serious illness, and those who are immunocompromised,” Offit wrote. “In the meantime, I believe we should stop trying to prevent all symptomatic infections in healthy young people by boosting them with vaccines containing mRNA from strains that might disappear a few months later.”

Offit cited a study released in October that was “examining levels of neutralizing antibodies against BA.4 and BA.5 [subvariants of the omicron strain of COVID-19] after receipt of a monovalent or bivalent booster dose.” The researchers reportedly found “no significant difference in neutralization” when comparing the two groups. Offit highlighted another study showing similar results that “BA.5 titers were comparable following monovalent and bivalent mRNA boosters.”

“Neither research group found the bivalent boosters to elicit superior immune responses,” he wrote.

Additionally, Offit emphasized data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on “the effectiveness of the BA.4 and BA.5 mRNA vaccines for preventing symptomatic infection within two months after receipt of the booster dose.”

According to this data, “extra protection” as a result of receiving a bivalent booster shot “ranged from 28% to 31%.” People who took a monovalent shot over eight months prior to receiving the booster, “the extra protection ranged from 43% to 56%.”

“Given the results of previous studies, it’s likely that this moderate increase in protection against probably generally mild disease will be short lived. As of November 15, 2022, only about 10% of the population for whom the bivalent vaccine had been recommended had received it. By December 2022, the BA.4 strain was no longer circulating, and BA.5 accounted for less than 25% of circulating SARs-CoV-2 strains.”

Offit explained that “neutralizing antibodies using a bivalent vaccine” was “most likely” a failed attempt because of imprinting. He argued that “the immune systems of people immunized with the bivalent vaccine, all of whom had previously been vaccinated, were primed to respond to the ancestral strain” of COVID.

“They therefore probably responded to epitopes shared by BA.4 and BA.5 and the ancestral strain, rather than to new epitopes on BA.4 and BA.5. This effect could possibly be moderated by immunizing people either with BA.4 and BA.5 mRNA alone or with a greater quantity of BA.4 and BA.5 mRNA.”

“Fortunately, SARS-CoV-2 variants haven’t evolved to resist the protection against severe disease offered by vaccination or previous infection,” Offit wrote, concluding his argument that booster shots for young, healthy individuals are unnecessary. “If that happens, we will need to create a variant-specific vaccine.”

The effectiveness of injecting healthy young people with mRNA vaccines has been a heated debate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming more prominent with the increase in reports citing adverse effects of the shots.

In September, a newly released study found that young adults are almost 100 times more likely to suffer from serious adverse effects from receiving the vaccine than from being infected with the disease. Another study from Oxford University found that those who receive an initial COVID vaccine and a booster shot are 44% more likely to contract the illness.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that a recent study showed COVID boosters are 18 times more dangerous for young people than contracting the virus itself.


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