Most Americans will be advised to get a booster shot to protect themselves against the evolving COVID-19 virus, and those shots could be available as early as mid-September.
The Biden administration is expected to announce this week that Americans who got the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines will need the third shot to protect themselves against the Delta variant that is spreading across the country, according to the New York Times. The booster shot should come eight months after the second shot; officials also said that people who got the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine will also need a booster shot.
The New York Times reports that, like the first rollout of the vaccine, the first booster shots will go to frontline workers and the most vulnerable, including nursing home residents, healthcare workers and emergency workers. After those people will come older folks and then the general public. People will likely get the same vaccine they received before.
Here is more on this story, per the Times:
The decision comes as the Biden administration is struggling to regain control of a pandemic that it had claimed to have tamed little more than a month ago. President Biden had declared the nation reopened for normal life for the July 4 holiday, but the wildfire spread of the Delta variant has thwarted that. Covid-19 patients are again overwhelming hospitals in some states, and federal officials are worried about an increase in the number of children hospitalized just as the school year is set to begin.
For weeks, Biden administration officials have been analyzing the rise in Covid-19 cases, trying to figure out if the Delta variant is better able to evade the vaccines or if the vaccines have waned in strength over time. According to some administration experts, both could be true, a distressing combination that is re-energizing a pandemic that the nation fervently hoped had been curbed.
Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, told “Fox News Sunday” that “there is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane.” That, combined with the Delta variant’s ferocity, could dictate boosters, he said.
It is not exactly clear how all of these booster shots will be regulated. For example, Pfizer-BioNTech filed information with the F.D.A. Monday, saying its shot was safe and effective; Moderna is on a similar path.
Because other countries—particularly those that do not possess the wealth of the United States—are still lagging behind on vaccinations, the World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on booster shots that will end in September. The F.D.A. OK’d booster shots of Pfizer and Moderna for people with weakened immune systems, which the CDC recommended.