Three corona vaccine doses needed for full protection, says US expert

By: News Desk      Published: 08:07 AM, 4 Sep, 2021
Three corona vaccine doses needed for full protection, says US expert
File photo of Dr Anthony Fauci.

With the latest Covid-19 surge upending American life yet again, an official rollout of booster doses could begin within weeks, pending FDA authorization. And it's likely that three doses of the vaccine are needed for full protection, Dr Anthony Fauci said.

He cited two Israeli-based studies that showed a decrease in infections among people who got a third or booster shot.

There was good reason to believe that a third dose "will actually be durable, and if it is durable, then you're going to have very likely a three-dose regimen being the routine regimen," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a briefing, reported CNN.

It's ultimately up to the US Food and Drug Administration to decide whether Americans should get three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, Fauci said. The agency is considering the question later this month after Moderna and Pfizer both applied for FDA authorization for a third dose either six months or eight months after getting the second dose.

The recommendation for the booster doses will likely lead to availability for a broad portion of the population, and doses could begin rolling out as early as the week of September 20, US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy said.

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Additional doses were granted emergency use authorization by the FDA this month for those who are immunocompromised.

Even though the doses are not yet available to the public, local health departments nationwide have seen a recent surge in calls from people wanting to make appointments, according to the National Association of County and City Health Departments.

While the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster plan remains on track for the week of September 20, according to a source familiar with the discussion, it may take a few weeks longer to move forward with Moderna's boosters.

There have been internal conversations within the Biden administration about scaling back the ambitious booster plan laid out by top federal health officials last month as the calendar nears September 20, when officials initially said boosters could be available for people who had either mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.

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A person familiar with the matter told CNN there was a meeting between top federal health officials and White House staff on Thursday in which officials warned that more time may be needed before enough data is available to recommend boosters for all adults. Federal health officials relayed that Moderna's submission was "found inadequate and needs strengthened data" from the company, a source said.

The company announced on Twitter Friday that it has completed submission of its data on booster doses to the FDA. The agency is already evaluating data submitted by Pfizer/BioNTech for approval of a booster dose.