Health officials in America have favored booster shots against Covid infection. The development came amid rising Delta variant cases in the country. The health authorities have announced plans for providing booster shots to all Americans. Earlier, a third booster dose was allowed for those having compromised immunity. The booster shots will be dispensed to increase the antibody level to provide protection against infection. The country is once again reporting high cases as the effectiveness of vaccines declines. The numbers are mainly driven by the Delta variant which is highly transmissible. It also increases patients’ stay in the hospital and requires a high flow of medical oxygen for treatment. The variant was first identified in India.
The plan is to provide additional booster shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines after eight months from the date of the second shot. The CDC said that booster doses could begin from mid-September. Both Pfizer and Moderna are two-shot vaccines. The officials said that people who have taken Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine may also require additional doses to boost the protection. The CDC and FDA will soon meet to measure the safety and effectiveness of the third dose as the booster shots program starts. Notably, President Joe Biden had earlier said that extra doses will provide a maximum level of protection against new variants. Past studies suggested that antibody levels generated from vaccines start to wane after some time. Therefore, a booster shot could be required to prevent the spread of the virus.
Notably, the call for booster shorts has come even as the WHO has warned that the situation in poor countries will worsen further, and they will have to pay a heavy price. The booster shots will affect the supply of vaccines to poor countries. People living in developing countries will therefore remain unvaccinated and become more vulnerable to infection. The WHO has suggested that high-income countries should suspend the thought of a third shot at least till September-end. The UN agency has said that poor nations are struggling to get enough vaccines even to complete their initial shots. Besides the US, Israel has already launched a program to inoculate people above 50 years of age with booster shots. European countries are also likely to go for booster shots. European regulators said that they are currently looking at the data.