Carper set to testify before FDA panel on second booster shot

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper will testify before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tuesday urging the panel for a more widespread release of second booster shots for COVID-19.

Kent Carper

Carper’s virtual testimony will come during an all-day meeting scheduled by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

Currently the FDA has only authorized second booster shots for those over 50 or for those who have compromised immune systems.

Carper maintains more people should be able to get the shots including first responders healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, caregivers and essential workers.

Carper said all the FDA has to do is look at how successful Kanawha County was when it made the first booster shots available to those who help protect others.

“My testimony will be that they should consider that scientific experiment, the microcosm of how to do it. It worked in Kanawha County and it will work in the United States,” Carper said.

Part of Tuesday’s meeting is expected to focus on additional vaccines to battle the Omicron variant. Carper said that may be the reason for the delay of the second booster.

“If the reason they are holding this up because they are waiting for the new vaccine–that’s good,” Carper said. “In the meantime, I am afraid that we’re going to see a resurgence very similar to what we saw last fall.”

Carper said Kanawha County is in a lot better shape now because first responders and others were the first to get the first booster shots.

“Dr. Young (former Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Director Dr. Sheri Young) figured out early that the thing to do was to protect our first responders and it worked. We were an example of that to the entire country,” Carper said.

The FDA advisory panel meeting is set for 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and can be viewed on YouTube.

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