Not wanting to wait for approval, some healthy Americans seek booster shots

As a result, Americans from all political walks are relying on evidence, such as an announcement by the Israeli Ministry of Health in July that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against symptomatic infections – but not against them. serious illnesses – decreased over time. Others have trusted their intuition, whether it was taking drugs dangerous for livestock to “cure” the virus or seeking a booster before it was officially recommended.

“This is the result of poor risk communication and a lack of political and scientific transparency over the past 18 months,” said Rachael Piltch-Loeb, researcher and researcher in public health emergency preparedness and response at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It is also a reflection of the fact that people feel a total lack of control over what is going on in society at this point. One of the things they can do to protect themselves is take the science into their own hands. . “

For vaccinated people living in areas where many have avoided vaccines and masks, proactively grabbing a reminder is like buying insurance on a rental car: they may not need it, but it reassures them. .

Many have found volunteer partners at pharmacies and health care providers.

Bruni Baeza, 83, walked into a CVS in Miami, showed the white vaccine card that showed seven months had passed since her last injection and was immediately given a booster, she said in a report. -mail from her birthday cruise – the impetus, she said, to get the third shot.

Pharmacies deny that they knowingly let people flout guidelines. “Patients are encouraged to certify that all information provided, including their medical condition, is true and correct when making an immunization appointment on CVS.com and when receiving their immunization,” Ethan said. Slavin, spokesperson for the company. Mr Slavin said “we can’t talk about anecdotal reports” that CVS is giving reminders to clients like Ms Baeza, who shared a recording of her third dose with a reporter.

Public health experts generally take a dim view of the self-selection of boosters. Like vaccine denial, they say, that doesn’t take into consideration the broader fight against the pandemic, which they say should focus on vaccinating the 25% of Americans who are eligible but not vaccinated, or on vaccinating those who are eligible. inhabitants of poor countries.

β€œIt flies in the face of what is required in a pandemic,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California at San Francisco. β€œThe challenge is, especially in a pandemic, that individual choice is important, but the whole strategy has to do with our collective choices and responsibility.”

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