TSR Health: U.S. health officials and medical experts released a joint statement this morning that booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be offered this fall, subject to authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to CNN.
“We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose,” US health officials, including Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, said in the statement.
“At that time, the individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors, will likely be eligible for a booster. We would also begin efforts to deliver booster shots directly to residents of long-term care facilities at that time, given the distribution of vaccines to this population early in the vaccine rollout and the continued increased risk that COVID-19 poses to them,” the statement said.
Health officials say the vaccines are “remarkably effective” in reducing the risk of severe disease and death, but it’s clear that protection against the coronavirus begins to decrease over time.
“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. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability,” the statement read.
While those initial booster doses will be for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the officials said in the statement that they anticipate booster shots will likely be needed for people who initially received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
This statement is a stark contrast from health officials’ initial stance. For months, federal health officials and agencies had maintained that boosters for the general public were not needed, despite them monitoring the data closely.
We’ll keep you posted on any updates.
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