“As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact. At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health,” Dr. Walensky wrote in a statement. “In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good.”
She’s right. The added protection against breakthrough infections will help the country get through what could be a rough winter. Experts predict that flu and other respiratory viruses will be more prevalent this year. Breakthrough infections could exacerbate the strain on the healthcare system and swell demand for monoclonal antibody therapies, which the Administration has been rationing.
A booster shot costs the government $20 compared to $2,100 for a monoclonal antibody treatment. A non-ICU Covid hospitalization costs $33,525. Add the health and economic benefits of fewer infections, and the cost-benefit analysis seems clear. The CDC has made many mistakes during the pandemic, but Dr. Walensky made the right call on boosters.