In public health policy, every choice matters. This principle is especially pertinent when individual and policy choices can determine the course of a pandemic. Currently, less than 1.5 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is why Wednesday’s announcement by U.S. public health officials to authorize the COVID-19 booster doses (Moderna and Pfizer) for all adults starting next month is bewildering.
While booster doses could benefit vulnerable populations — including people of advanced age, those with underlying medical conditions, or those with a compromised immune system (such as organ transplant recipients) — a broad recommendation advising this dose at this point is a reactive policy decision that doesn’t seem to be driven by available data.