Why CDC and US pharmacies disagree over fourth COVID-19 dose: explained
- The CDC had urged millions of those with weak immune systems to get the fourth vaccine shot
- Many pharmaceuticals have denied to do so
- Around seven million of the American population is immune compromised
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US pharmacies are currently in a tiff after many pharmaceuticals have denied providing fourth vaccine jabs to immune-compromised people.
Even though four doses are not recommended for most Americans, the center had urged millions of those with weak immune systems to get the shot.
Despite the directive, pharmacies and hospitals have denied to provide the fourth shot, possibly due to vaccine-related doubts and failure in clear communication by the CDC.
This has left the CDC worry about its vulnerable population. Elizabeth Nunn, an immune-compromised woman from New York stated, "A lot of pharmacies are just not understanding. They hear 'fourth shot,' and it just freaks them out."
According to Kristen Nordlund, a CDC spokesperson, the protocol for fourth jabs was constantly announced on weekly conference calls with pharmaceutical giants since October last year.
Around seven million of the American population is immune compromised with chronic diseases like cancer, HIV, according to the CDC. Furthermore, several studies have deduced that immune-compromised patients fail to have an antibody response even after 2-3 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
While the exact cause behind the dispute remains unclear for now, the debate has been ongoing since last fall. After the initial announcement, many even rebuked the third dose of the inoculation.
The ongoing dispute continues due to failure in deciphering protocol. According to Allie Jo Shipman, director of state policy for the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, "Confusion and information overload combined to create the perfect storm."
According to Janet Handal, president of the Transplant Recipients and Immunocompromised Patient Advocacy Group, the CDC could have articulated the protocol well and communicated better with health departments and pharmacies.
In conversation with CNN, Rosa Baier, an associate professor at the Brown University School of Public Health with an immune-compromised mother who was rejected the fourth dose, stated that the language on the CDC website tends to be confusing and vague. "You have to read between the lines to see that they're referring to shots one, two, three and four. You have to read it a few times to interpret it," she said.