07.02.2022 | Forbes

By Steve Brozak

Far from cause for celebration, this 4th of July marks the 6th wave of Covid-19, with BA.4 and BA.5 variants leading the parade. As one variant of concern follows another, the world remains in a state of disarray as disarrayed researchers and governments chase the virus in a seemingly unending game of whack-a-mole. Each new variant of concern is either more easily transmissible (as with BA.4 and BA.5), better at evading acquired immune protection from previous acute infection or vaccination, and/or more virulent.

The June 28th meeting of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, VRBPAC meeting was emblematic of the system’s disarray. The panel’s mission was to decide whether to approve a new booster (hopefully, available by this fall) to provide protection against the latest variants of concern. The group recommended the booster by a 19 to 2 vote margin based on data demonstrating no reduction in, much less protection from, BA.4/BA.5 transmissibility.

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