WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should receive a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after receiving their second shot, and can begin offering third injections as early as mid- to late September, according to government officials who announced it. be with the discussions.
Officials plan to announce the government’s decision this week. Their goal is now to let Americans who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines know that they need extra protection against the Delta variant that is causing the number of cases to increase nationwide. The new policy will depend on Food and Drug Administration approval for additional shots.
Officials said they expect recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was approved as a single dose, will also need an additional dose. But they’re waiting for the results of that company’s two-dose clinical trial, which is expected later this month.
The first boosters are likely to go to nursing home residents and health professionals, followed by other seniors who were at the front of the line when vaccinations began at the end of last year. Officials are imagining giving people the same vaccine they were originally given.
For weeks, officials with the Biden administration have been analyzing the rising trend in Covid-19 cases, trying to figure out whether the Delta variant is better able to dodge the vaccines than previous versions of the virus, or whether the vaccines lose power. According to some government experts, both could be true, exacerbating a pandemic that the nation fervently hoped had been contained.
Officials are particularly concerned about data from Israel suggesting that the protection of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against serious diseases has decreased significantly for elderly people who received their second injection in January or February.
Some government officials have seen Israel as a sort of template for the United States because it started vaccinating its population earlier. Israel has almost exclusively used the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it has a nationalized health care system that allows it to monitor patients systematically.
The latest data from Israel, posted on the government’s website on Monday, shows what some experts describe as continued erosion of the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine over time — whether against mild or asymptomatic Covid-19. infections in general as well as against serious illnesses in the elderly .
“It shows a pretty strong decline and effectiveness against infection, but it’s still a bit obscure about protection against serious disease,” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, a vaccine expert at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who reviewed the published data. by Israel at the request of NewsMadura.