FDA needs reform: Votes itself third dose of COVID-19 vaccine while denying general availability

There are exceptions to every rule, and when it comes to COVID vaccines, the FDA governing panel have made an exception for themselves under the heading of health care workers after voting down third doses for the general public on the grounds of lack of data demonstrating safety, need.

I listened in on the FDA meeting on Pfizer’s application to extend the dosing regimen of its COVID-19 vaccine from two doses to three, the first two doses three weeks apart and a third dose to come six months after the second. Early on during the public comment period, I knew that the prospect of approval did not seem promising by the number of negative comments that concerned most vigorously the ethics involved in taking a third dose when the rest of the world are lucky to have had one.

At the FDA, however, ethics are morals imposed on others, not rules that they themselves or those in the same line of work need to abide by. After the vote to deny the application for the dose extension, I was astounded when one panel member, apparently giddy to have carved out an exception for health care workers and with very little apparent concern that a third vaccine dose would result in the growth of an additional cranium (though sorely needed by him), exclaimed that his wife had already gotten her third shot and he was now going to run out and get his “today.” But wait… it’s not clear whether a third dose is needed and there’s not enough safety data available, though all the health care workers and elderly will get the privilege of becoming test subjects while the rest of us must take our chances with decaying odds.

And some people wonder what sorts of problems made conditions ripe for the rise of Trump… as if elites audaciously voting themselves the use of life saving public resources while citing ethics and fuzzy data as the basis for denying their use by those for whom they were intended would never rub Joe Average the wrong way.

How is there no scandal here?