The FDA has approved booster COVID vaccines for immunocompromised people. Those with weaker immune systems are very vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta variant, and they comprise 44 percent of hospitalized COVID breakthrough cases. Once the CDC approves, booster vaccines can be given immediately.
According to Dr. Fauci, everyone will likely eventually need booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine. But for now, health experts are only recommending it for those whose antibodies did not respond well to the first vaccines.
If general protection falls below a certain level, i.e. not a sufficient number of antibodies to fight the virus, a booster shot will be necessary. “What the CDC is looking at, they have cohorts of patients — elderly, nursing home, younger individuals, etc. — looking at all of that data, and if the data shows, in fact, that the degree of protection has gone down below a critical level, that’s when you’re going to be hearing about the implementation of boosters,” Dr. Fauci said.
“We believe sooner or later you will need a booster for durability of protection,” said Dr. Fauci, speaking at Thursday’s White House press briefing. “We do not believe that others, elderly or non-elderly, who are not immunocompromised, need a vaccine [booster] right at this moment.”
Who will be eligible for the booster vaccine?
Examples of people who will be eligible are people with:
- Organ transplants
- Weakened immune systems
Some Americans are getting booster shots even if they are not immunocompromised. Health experts do not recommend doing that at this time, since not enough is known and booster vaccines are still being studied.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are still very effective, but more research will reveal when immunity wears off and when and if a booster is needed for the general public.
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