|Monday, July 12, 2021
FDA, CDC & Dr. Fauci: No need for COVID vaccine boosters yet despite Pfizer request
Pfizer announced earlier in the week that they would seek regulatory approval from the FDA for a booster because they anticipate that people will need a third dose six to 12 months after receiving the current two-shot regimen. The FDA and US CDC released a joint statement after Pfizer’s announcement which included the following, “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.”
Appearing on the Sunday morning broadcast of On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Dr. Fauci responded to a question from the show’s host with the following:
“… right now, given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot, a boost, superimposed upon the two doses you get with the mRNA and the one dose you get with J&J. But that doesn't mean we stop there. They continue. I mean, there are studies being done now ongoing as we speak about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people. So, this isn't something that we say, no, we don't need a boost right now, the story has ended forever. No, there's a lot of work going on to examine this in real time to see if we might need a boost. But, right now, given the data that the CDC and the FDA has, they don't feel that we need to tell people right now you need to be boosted.”
Later in the interview, Dr. Fauci added:
“Before you get that data, there will always be people, well-meaning people, and well-meaning companies, who will say, you know, the way we look at the situation, it looks like you might need a booster, so let's go ahead and give a booster. But that's not a formal recommendation. I mean, even individual physicians, we know some physicians right now that are saying, I want to take the extra step, go the extra mile with someone who might actually have a lower level of immunity. Those are the things that are out there. But if you're looking at formal recommendations from organizations, it's always based on data. And as we have said so many times, Jake, data evolves. You get more information as the time goes by.”
Full CNN interview transcript here.
For more discussion on booster shots, we’ve included a recent Facebook Live discussion with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professors, William John Moss, M.D., (also Executive Director, International Vaccine Access Center) and Anna P. Durbin, M.D.
They point out that, so far, preliminary data show lasting efficacy for all three vaccines authorized in the US. There is also emerging data that all three are quite effective against the delta variant which, for the time being, rules out an immediate need for second-generation COVID vaccines tweaked for specific variants. But, they warned, the focus should be on getting as many people vaccinated around the world as possible so that we are not facing a new variant that may skirt immune responses to currently available vaccines.
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