CNN’s Dana Bash pressed Sunday White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, asking if President Joe Biden’s administration would follow scientists’ recommendations on COVID-19 booster shots.
“You all know President Biden promised to always follow the science, but in this case did he get ahead of the science by setting that specific date for boosters before all the data was in?” referring to the Biden administration’s plan to make booster shots for vaccinated Americans available from Sep. 20.
“No, Dana. I think what we said was that we would be ready as of the 20th, which was the projection we were given from the senior science team as to when the FDA would clear the boosters,” Klain responded.
The White House chief of staff added that no American would get booster shots until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants approval and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee makes a recommendation.
Klain added that the White House’s decision was made ahead of health official’s recommendations in order to prevent a “disaster” with vaccine shortages similar to that of December 2020.
“So, just to clarify because there’s a lot of interest in this, as you know, who will get it and when? And how will you make that decision?,” Bash followed up. “Will you 100% follow the science?”
“100%. We will wait for FDA approval, we will wait for CDC approval. They will decide which vaccines are approved to be used as boosters. They will decide when that approval comes. They will decide who will get it under those approvals,” Klain replied. (RELATED: Top Health Officials Tell White House To Pause Vaccine Booster Plan: REPORT)
FDA’s top two vaccine officials resigned from the agency Tuesday, citing frustration over CDC’s involvement in the vaccine approval process, as well as over White House’s pressure to move forward with booster vaccines for COVID-19 without FDA’s approval.