United States recommends 8-month COVID vaccine boosters – .

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United States recommends 8-month COVID vaccine boosters – .



A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site at Natick Mall on Wednesday February 24, 2021 in Natick, Mass. U.S. experts should recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after receiving their second dose of the vaccine, to ensure long-lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads to across the country. (Matt Stone, The Boston Herald)

WASHINGTON – U.S. experts should recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after receiving their second dose of the vaccine, to ensure long-lasting protection against the coronavirus while the variant delta is spreading across the country.
Federal health officials have been actively pursuing whether additional injections for those vaccinated would be needed as early as this fall, looking at the number of cases in the United States as well as the situation in other countries like Israel, where preliminary studies suggest that vaccine protection against serious illness fell among those vaccinated in January.

An announcement on the U.S. recall recommendation was expected as early as this week, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Doses would not begin to be widely administered until the Food and Drug Administration officially approved the vaccines. This action is expected for Pfizer’s firing in the coming weeks.

Last week, U.S. health officials recommended boosters for some with weakened immune systems, citing their higher risk of catching the virus and evidence that the effectiveness of vaccines worsened over time.

National Institutes of Health director Dr Francis Collins said on Sunday that the United States may decide over the next two weeks whether or not to offer coronavirus booster vaccines to Americans this fall.

Among the first to receive them, there could be healthcare workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans, who were among the first Americans to be vaccinated.

Since then, more than 198 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 168 million fully vaccinated. Yet the country is experiencing a fourth wave of cases of the virus due to the more transmissible delta variant, which is spreading aggressively in unvaccinated communities but is also responsible for a growing number of so-called “breakthrough infections” of the virus. fully vaccinated people.

Israel is offering a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who were vaccinated more than five months ago.

For months, officials said the data still showed people remained highly protected against COVID-19, including the delta variant, after receiving the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna regimen or the single-dose Johnson vaccine. Johnson. But U.S. health officials made it clear on Sunday that they were bracing for the possibility that the time for recalls would come sooner rather than later.

“There are concerns that the vaccine is starting to lose its effectiveness,” Collins said. “And delta is a problem that we have to try to deal with. The combination of these two means that we may need reminders, perhaps starting with health care providers first, as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward ” with others, like older Americans who were among the first to get vaccinated after they became available late last year.

He said that with the Delta variant not starting to hit the United States hard until July, the “next two weeks” of case data will help the United States make a decision.

Officials also continued to collect information on the J&J vaccine, which was not approved in the United States until the end of February, to determine when to recommend boosters, one of the officials said.

The White House said that even though the United States has started sharing more than 110 million doses of the vaccine with the world, the country has sufficient domestic supply to provide boosters to Americans if recommended by them. health authorities.

Global health officials, including the World Health Organization, have called on the richest and most vaccinated countries to suspend booster injections to ensure the supply of the first doses to people in the developing world .

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