Due to an increase in cases connected with the Delta version and data indicating that an extra injection can provide more protection, US health officials announced Wednesday that a COVID-19 booster shot will be made available beginning next month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal health officials have stated that the booster will be accessible to persons who have been vaccinated eight months after their second dosage of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
“Our top goal continues to be staying ahead of the virus and safeguarding the American people from COVID-19 with safe, effective, and long-lasting vaccines,” the agencies said in a joint statement signed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser.
The booster doses, which are subject to approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, are slated to be available beginning Sept. 20.
“The available data makes very clear that protection against [COVID-19] infection begins to decrease over time,” the agencies added. “And in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.”
The booster will be available only to those who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Officials said, however, that they also expect to make available a booster for the Johnson & Johnson shot.
“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,” the agencies added.
“For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.”
Health officials emphasized that the vaccines continue to prove to be “remarkably effective” in avoiding severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death.
The CDC and other agencies noted that they will also directly deliver additional doses for the booster for older people at long-term care facilities nationwide.
The CDC and other authorities stated that they will also directly give more booster doses to older adults in long-term care institutions around the country.
Officials advised unvaccinated Americans to be immunised once more in their announcement.
“Nearly all occurrences of serious sickness, hospitalisation, and death continue to occur among those who have not yet been vaccinated at all,” they stated. “We will continue to increase immunizations here at home and ensuring people get accurate vaccine information from reliable sources.”
The Food and Drug Administration, which signed off on Wednesday’s news, has already authorised additional doses of the Pfizer drug and Moderna vaccines in people with compromised immune systems.