A watchdog is seeking records from the government on its inconsistent COVID-19 vaccine recommendation.
Biden administration officials have for months claimed that a COVID-19 vaccine has become a once-a-year routine. "For a large majority of people, an annual COVID shot should be all they need," White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said in September. That same month, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci compared the cadence to the flu vaccine, which is administered once per year.
But Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, in multiple posts on Twitter, said that people should get a shot "if it's been over 2 months since your last dose."
"The recommended timing for COVID boosters has changed many times and is now changing again. At one time, the President, health officials, and many others said that the original COVID vaccine would provide permanent protection. Now our nation’s top-ranking health official is recommending vaccine doses every two months," the Functional Government Initiative, a watchdog group, told the Department of Health and Human Services in a Dec. 1 request for records to back up Becerra's advice that was reviewed by The Epoch Times.
The initiative wants any scientific evidence that Becerra relied on when recommending shots every two months, any studies on the effectiveness of bi-monthly shots, and any records showing Becerra discussing the safety of the updated shots.
An HHS spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email: "The clear message from across the Administration is: Don’t wait. Get your free COVID-19 vaccine. It’s safe and effective. People can go to vaccines.gov to find free and easily available vaccines in their community."
“While Americans are consistently told to ‘trust the science’ when it comes to matters of public health, they are rarely being shown the science underpinning these decisions," Pete McGinnis, spokesman for the government initiative, said in a statement.
New ShotsAfter the original vaccines plunged in effectiveness as newer variants emerged, Pfizer and Moderna developed new shots that contain components of both the Wuhan virus and the BA.4/BA.5 subvariants.
The vaccines are primarily being applied as boosters. The old vaccines, or the first two shots, are still being used as the primary series.
Biden administration officials have repeatedly offered misinformation about the updated shots.
Jha and Fauci, for instance, on Dec. 9 suggested they would protect against severe illness, which is unproven.
CDC RecommendationsThe CDC currently advises people to "stay up to date" with vaccines.
The CDC says people 5 and older should get one of the updated boosters if at least two months have elapsed since their last shot, even if the last shot was an old booster.
Additionally, even if people received multiple old boosters, they should still get one of the new ones, according to the agency.
"Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself or your child from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19," the CDC says.
The agency cites no evidence to back up its claims.
The only effectiveness data for the new boosters came from the CDC, with researchers estimating from real-world testing data that the boosters provided just 22 to 43 percent protection—depending on age—against symptomatic infection.
U.S. and international standards say vaccines should be at least 50 percent effective to be authorized.
The CDC did not estimate protection against severe illness.