Biden says booster could come at 5 months: What that means for COVID-19 vaccine boosters

Biden says booster could come at 5 months: What that means for COVID-19 vaccine boosters

Will Biden administration health officials recommend you get a COVID-19 booster shot five months after you’re fully vaccinated? Just last week, the Biden administration said it would push for a booster eight months after you receive your last jab. On Friday, however, President Joe Biden said health officials were evaluating whether a five-month gap would be more effective. “The question raised is, should it be shorter than eight months? Should it be as little as five months? That’s being discussed,” Biden said.

Biden’s remarks follow an announcement on Wednesday by Johnson & Johnson that studies of a booster shot to its one-dose COVID-19 vaccine “generated a rapid and robust increase” in antibodies. Antibodies created from a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were nine times higher after 28 days compared to those who received the one-shot vaccine over the same period, the company said.

A booster from Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer or Moderna could provide added protection to the fully vaccinated as the COVID-19 delta variant surges across the country. The plan for boosters this fall comes as research shows that the effectiveness of the vaccines can decline. “Recent data makes clear that protection against mild and moderate disease has decreased over time,” US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said. “This is likely due to both waning immunity and the strength of the widespread delta variant.”

What does all this mean in the US? Read on for what we know about COVID-19 booster shots today, including who can get them now, why they’re needed, how they relate to breakthrough infections and what the controversy has been surrounding third shots. We’ll be updating this as new information is released.

Who could qualify for the COVID-19 booster shot and when?

Earlier this month, health officials in the Biden administration recommended an additional shot for Americans 18 and over who are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna shots, proposing a booster eight months after being fully vaccinated.

On Friday, during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Biden said administration health officials were evaluating a five-month gap, based in part on data from Israel’s booster program. The news followed a report by The Wall Street Journal that the Biden administration was evaluating a booster shot six months after the last jab.

Whatever the time gap, the booster plan would need to be evaluated and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which will review the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. The plan is also pending recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

“We believe that that third dose will ultimately be needed to provide the fullest and continual extent of protection that we think people need from the virus,” Murthy said. “Our plan is to stay ahead of this virus by being prepared to offer COVID-19 booster shots to fully vaccinated adults 18 years and older.” Murthy said the FDA will evaluate booster shots for those younger than 18 years of age, and the administration will follow FDA recommendations for minors…Read more>>



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