Tensions mount over boosters…

Top Biden Covid-19 offi­cials are increas­ing­ly clash­ing with the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion as the admin­is­tra­tion push­es to begin dis­trib­ut­ing boost­er shots wide­ly by Sept. 20.

In meet­ings and con­ver­sa­tions over the past month, senior offi­cials from the White House Covid-19 task force and the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion have repeat­ed­ly accused CDC of with­hold­ing crit­i­cal data need­ed to devel­op the boost­er shot plan — delay­ing work on the next step of Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s vac­ci­na­tion cam­paign and mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult to set clear expec­ta­tions for the public.

One par­tic­u­lar­ly frus­trat­ing episode occurred last month, two offi­cials said, when the agency appeared to pub­licly reject the administration’s plan to offer boost­ers to all adults. CDC Direc­tor Rochelle Walen­sky had joined oth­er top Biden health offi­cials in sign­ing a high-pro­file state­ment on Aug. 18 endors­ing the approach. But less than two weeks lat­er, when it came time for CDC to make the case for boost­ers to an influ­en­tial advi­so­ry pan­el, senior agency offi­cials argued that pri­or­i­ty should be giv­en to nurs­ing-home res­i­dents and front­line health work­ers before expand­ing access to oth­er groups based on their vulnerability.


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