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Polis slams FDA, says Colorado ready for COVID-19 boosters

Colorado Governor Jared Polis speaks at a memorial service for former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm Aug. 31, 2021, in Denver. Polis on Monday urged the Food and Drug Administration to quickly authorize booster shots for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as well as vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

DENVER – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Monday urged the Food and Drug Administration to quickly authorize booster shots for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as well as vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11, saying foot-dragging by U.S. health officials has cost lives.

“The FDA needs to get out of their ivory tower and realize there is a real life pandemic,” the Democratic governor told a news conference.

In August, Pfizer said it had started the application process for a third dose of its vaccine for everyone ages 16 and older. It has asserted people’s antibody levels jump five- to 10-fold after a third dose, compared with their second dose months earlier.

The White House has begun planning for boosters later this month, if both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree. Advisers to the FDA will weigh evidence about an extra Pfizer shot Friday. The U.S. already offers an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to people with severely weakened immune systems.