WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Defending the administration’s recommendation for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that three doses will ‘likely’ be the new standard of full vaccination.
- Booster shots for vulnerable populations will be available beginning on Sept. 20.
- Americans are recommended to receive their third shot eight months after having received their second dose.
Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the administration’s decision to recommend Covid-19 vaccine booster shots and said that three doses will ‘likely’ be the new standard of full vaccination.
“I would not at all be surprised that the adequate, full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses,” Fauci said during a Thursday briefing of the White House coronavirus response team.
But the nation’s top medical adviser to President Biden noted that the FDA would have to ultimately make that decision.
Fauci presented data from Israel that showed waning immunity to the virus after about eights months that he said “supported the rationale for COVID-19 booster shots.”
After the highly contagious Delta variant arrived in Israel in early summer, the number of positive coronavirus cases and severe COVID-related illnesses rose among vaccinated individuals between June and August. By then, many Israelis had been vaccinated for more than half a year, a testament to the speed with which the small, technologically advanced nation had conducted its inoculation campaign.
Faced with an unexpected Delta-fueled surge, Israel began to administer booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine on July 30 to older individuals, who are the most likely to become ill with COVID-19. Less than two weeks thereafter, Israel saw what Fauci described as a “rather substantial positive impact,” with “a greater-than-tenfold diminution in the relative risk of both confirmed infection and severe disease.”
Later in the briefing, Fauci said that the protection conferred by a third shot was “dramatic” and “durable.” One Israeli study found that, three weeks after a third shot, the risk of infection dropped by as much as 84 percent, when compared to a two-shot regimen.
Of the three vaccines now approved for use in the U.S., those manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology. Initially, two doses were considered sufficient, but many virologists now believe immunity needs the enhancement that comes with a third shot.
A third vaccine available in the United States, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, uses an older technology — viral vectors — than its newer mRNA counterparts. It requires a single dose. A booster program for Americans who were administered that vaccine has not yet been announced
Last week, the administration said booster shots would begin on Sept. 20, with vulnerable populations such as seniors in long-term care becoming eligible for a third shot first. Americans are advised to receive their third shot eight months after having received their second.
Source: Yahoo News