The Biden administration plans to start giving booster shots to many Americans the week of Sept. 20, according to research showing that the effectiveness of Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations against COVID-19 declines with time, according to the nation’s top health authorities.
At a White House briefing, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy remarked, “Having reviewed the most recent evidence, it is now our clinical judgment that the time to put out a plan for COVID-19 boosters is now.”
The hazard of the delta variation was highlighted in a joint statement by the US Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention, Murthy, and others, who observed that “we are starting to see indications of decreased protection against mild and moderate disease.”
Anyone who got Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations will be advised to obtain a booster injection eight months following their second dose, with health care professionals, nursing home patients, and the elderly being prioritized.
“According to our most recent evaluation, present protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death may wane in the months ahead, particularly among individuals who are at higher risk or who were vaccinated during the early phases of the vaccine rollout,” the officials said. “As a result, we believe a booster injection will be required to optimize vaccine-induced protection and ensure its long-term durability.”
Vaccines, according to the CDC, continue to reduce the risk of severe illness. The CDC released statistics on Wednesday indicating that vaccinations are still effective in preventing hospitalizations. The CDC reported that Pfizer and Moderna were at least 84 percent effective against hospitalizations from March to July in a study involving 21 institutions.
But that’s only when it comes to avoiding hospitalization. Data suggests that vaccination efficacy is already diminishing in the face of relatively minor advances, notably in the face of the delta variation.
This is especially true for the elderly, according to a second CDC study, which found that Pfizer and Moderna vaccine effectiveness decreased “substantially” among nursing home patients from March to July as the delta variation became the prevalent strain in the US.
“From May to July, it appears that overall vaccination efficacy is decreasing. The good news is that vaccination efficacy in preventing hospitalizations has remained rather stable, with no indication of deterioration “Dr. Dan Barouch, head of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, stated
For the time being, the future boosters will only be available to those who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations. Officials said that those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination will also be eligible for boosters. The first J&J vaccinations were not given out until March, and the Biden administration claims it will have more information on the vaccine’s effectiveness in a few weeks.
Vaccines, according to the administration, are still effective and provide the best protection against serious disease or death. However, without a booster, outbreaks of infections might cause more serious sickness in the future, even among those who have been vaccinated.
Murthy, CDC Head Rochelle Walensky, FDA Administrator Dr. Janet Woodcock, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s senior medical advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, were among those who signed the statement.
The proposal to provide booster injections is conditional on the FDA approving the safety and efficacy of a third dosage, however, Wednesday’s announcement made it seem as if it was a foregone conclusion.
In addition, the CDC must approve of particular recommendations. A meeting of CDC advisers was scheduled for August 24 to examine the situation. One topic that CDC advisors are expected to debate is whether a different brand of vaccination should be used as a booster. There have been ongoing studies to see if “mixing and matching” vaccinations are a good idea.