The Biden administration is expected to recommend that vaccinated Americans who are eight months out from their second COVID-19 shot get a booster shot.
According to the New York Times, the booster shot policy “will depend on the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of additional shots.”
Following authorization, the process could begin as early as September for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots and is purportedly to ensure protection for Americans who are at risk of contracting the delta variant. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson shot will most likely need boosters as well, but an official determination will not be made until results from a recent clinical trial are available.
The World Health Organization has cautioned against supplemental shots due to a global vaccine gap, but the United States plans to move forward by prioritizing extra shots for those most vulnerable to the virus such as nursing home residents and health care workers who are exposed to COVID-19 regularly.
“They would probably be followed by other older people who were near the front of the line when vaccinations began late last year, then by the general population. Officials envision giving people the same vaccine they originally received,” the Times reported.
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said the decision comes as the delta variant spreads and that “vaccine protection does gradually wane over time,” but he admitted there’s not enough data to know whether boosters will actually be effective.
“When we look at vaccines and how it works best if you’re getting a booster to get full effect, we don’t have enough data right now to be sure this applies to COVID-19, but it probably does,” he said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” on Tuesday. “You probably do want to wait at least six months after your initial immunization to give that immune system a chance to mature the diversity of antibodies that it can produce, and then you hit it with the booster. So if somebody just got their primary immunization, you know, a couple of months ago, I don’t think this is the right moment for that booster. That will not give them the same effect. So this idea of waiting is, it’s scientific.”
When host Hugh Hewitt questioned how the government plans to market booster shots after “one of the worst communications rollouts” and more than a year of flip-flopping, Collins said the administration and agencies “do need to be clear.”
“As this gets rolled out, which is coming pretty soon, that we have a really clear and distinct message, and we say it over and over again,” Collins said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously sowed doubts about the COVID-19 shot by asking vaccinated Americans to mask up just two months after the health bureaucrats lifted face-covering guidance for anyone who had both doses of the shot.
“The CDC is going to say that what we should do is everyone … under the age of 12 should probably be wearing a mask in school,” President Joe Biden said shortly before the change was issued. “That’s probably what’s going to happen.”