US to recommend boosters to most Americans 8 months after vaccination

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get the coronavirus vaccine eight months after receiving th...


WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get the coronavirus vaccine eight months after receiving their second injection, and could start offering a third injection as early as mid-September to the end of September, officials say administration familiar with the discussions.

Authorities plan to announce the decision as early as this week. Their goal is to let Americans who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines know that they will need additional protection against the Delta variant which is causing an increase in the number of cases in much of the country. The new policy will depend on the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of additional shots.

Officials said they expected recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was cleared as a single-dose regimen, would also need an additional dose. But they are awaiting the results of the company’s two-dose clinical trial, due later this month.

The first reminders are likely to go to residents of nursing homes and Health workers, followed by other seniors who were near the front line when vaccinations began late last year. Authorities are considering giving people the same vaccine they originally received.

The move comes as the Biden administration struggles to regain control of a pandemic it claimed to have tamed just over a month ago. President Biden had declared the nation reopened to normal life for the July 4 vacation, but the spread of the Delta variant wildfire thwarted that. Covid patients are once again swarming hospitals in some states, and federal officials worry about an increase in the number of children hospitalized with the virus just as the school year begins.

For weeks, officials in the Biden administration analyzed the upward trend in Covid-19 cases, trying to determine whether the Delta variant is better able to evade vaccines than earlier versions of the virus, or whether vaccines were losing their potency. According to some administration experts, both could be true, exacerbating a pandemic the nation fervently hoped was stemmed.

Officials were particularly concerned about data from Israel suggesting that the protection of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against serious illness has declined significantly for older people who received their second injection in January or February.

Israel can in some ways be seen as a sort of role model for the United States, as it vaccinated more of its population faster. Unlike the United States, it has used the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine almost exclusively and has a nationalized healthcare system that allows it to routinely follow patients.

Israel’s latest data, released on the government website on Monday, shows what some experts describe as continued erosion of Pfizer vaccine effectiveness over time – both against mild and asymptomatic Covid infections – 19 in general and against serious illnesses in the elderly. .

“This shows a pretty big drop and efficacy against infections, but protection against serious illness is still a bit unclear,” said Dr Peter J. Hotez, a vaccine expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who reviewed published data. by Israel at the request of the New York Times.

Dr Jesse L. Goodman, former chief scientist with the Food and Drug Administration, said the Israeli data suggested “worrying trends” that could signal a decline in the vaccine’s effectiveness. But he said he would like to see more details from Israel and, more importantly, data showing whether the United States is moving in the same direction.

Federal officials have said the booster program will most likely follow much the same scenario as the original vaccination schedule. The first injections for the general public in the United States were given on December 14, days after the FDA cleared the emergency injection of Pfizer. People started getting the Moderna vaccine a week later.

While frontline health workers and nursing home residents were among the first to be vaccinated nationally, states followed their own plans to determine who else was eligible for vaccines at the national level. during the first weeks and months of the vaccination campaign.

But almost everyone 65 and over qualified for the vaccination in late February, as did many police officers, teachers, grocery store workers and others at risk of exposure to the virus at work.

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Newsrust - US Top News: US to recommend boosters to most Americans 8 months after vaccination
US to recommend boosters to most Americans 8 months after vaccination
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