After the COVID-19 pandemic putting the world on pause, a safe and effective vaccine has helped the human race press the start button again. President Joseph Biden said U.S. regulators are looking at administering COVID-19 booster shots five months after people finish their primary immunizations, moving up the expected timetable for a third shot by about three months. Approval of the booster shots is expected to come sometime around Labor Day after federal health officials have time to review data from other countries.
National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said data released by Israel on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines over time was prompting U.S. health leaders to rethink their position on vaccine booster shots. Israel released new data on August 16 showing a reduction in the effectiveness of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine against severe illness among people 65 and older who were fully vaccinated in January or February. Israel released more data which showed a booster dose provided four times as much protection against infection from the delta variant than the previous two-dose regimen in people 60 and older The booster dose also provided five to six times more efficacy in preventing hospitalization or serious illness. Already, about 1.5 million Israel residents have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
White House Spokeswoman stated that President Joseph Biden is going to rely on officials from the CDC and FDA before making any crucial decisions for the U.S. Furthermore, other countries including the Dominican Republic, Hungary and Germany have either already begun administering booster shots to their population, are close to it or are considering it.Pfizer said Wednesday that a booster dose of its vaccine provides a threefold increase in neutralizing antibodies in an unpublished study as the company races to get FDA clearance for its booster doses. The study also found that side effects from a third dose are the same as those experienced after a second dose. Common side effects include headache, lethargy, mild pain at the injection site and fever.Distribution of the booster shots is expected to begin Sept. 20, pending final sign-off by the Food and Drug Administration clearance and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Biden administration and vaccine manufacturers have indicated that there should be enough doses for any fully vaccinated adult seeking a third dose.