Top health officials announced today that the US will begin widely distributing COVID booster shots next month as new data shows that vaccine protection wanes over time.
According to the statement signed by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and other U.S. health leaders,
“The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination
…and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.
Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout.”
As a result, U.S. agencies are preparing to offer booster shots to all eligible Americans beginning the week of Sept. 20, starting 8 months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines, officials said.
While they said recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine will likely need boosters, they are awaiting more data in the next few weeks before making a formal recommendation.
The announcement comes ahead of a White House Covid press briefing Wednesday, where federal health officials are expected to further outline their plan for boosters.
Biden is expected to speak today on the U.S. effort after the briefing.
BREAKING: U.S. health officials recommend all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection against the delta variant. The plan calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. https://t.co/JAiU4v9Qo3— The Associated Press (@AP) August 18, 2021
(Photo, screen grab, YouTube; via CNBC)