The FDA is set to meet Friday to discuss whether to approve vaccine boosters for all Americans, even though more than two million have already received one. It's a decision officials in North Texas are closely watching.
While health officials agree that vaccines work, they continue to debate whether a third dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is necessary.
A study in Israel involving about 1,000,000 people found those with an extra dose are far less likely to become infected soon afterward. Leaders of Pfizer and Moderna have agreed, boosters could increase protection.
But the FDA’s own reviewers have remained neutral saying, U.S. authorized vaccines "still afford protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death."
The latest news from around North Texas.
Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center, told NBC News the debate that remains could lead to confusion, or even worse, distrust.
“It's normal for scientists not necessarily to have consensus around a particular issue. The problem is we're in a very toxic environment now because of all of the aggression coming from anti-vaccine groups,” said Hotez.
Meanwhile, the White House’s message has been clear with President Biden urging Americans to get the booster shot.
In North Texas, UT Southwestern has already announced it will start offering third doses of both Pfizer and Moderna for those 8 months past their last dose starting Sept. 20.
The hospital group has already made them available for those who are immunocompromised.
Dallas County has done the same, but officials there, along with those in Denton County, said they're monitoring Friday’s meeting to determine when they'll offer the booster to the general public.
Should the FDA give the green light, then it will be up to the CDC to determine which Americans should get a booster and when.
Once that's decided, Denton County says those interested do not need to rejoin their vaccine portal.