Do Americans Need COVID Boosters Yet? That’s What the FDA is Going to Talk About Today

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Currents News Staff

The booster battle continues. Whether we’ll need them depends on who you ask.

“From the data that I’ve seen and the data that are going to evolve, that we will need a third shot as a booster,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, NIAID and Chief Medical Adviser to the President.

“There is actually a pretty straightforward case to be made for why we should be allowing booster shots at this time,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Former Baltimore Health Commissioner.

“I’m not sure it’s going to be required for everybody,” said “I’m not sure it’s going to be required for everybody,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, Executive Associate Dean of Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System.

“I was one of one of the biggest skeptics of the docs in the White House about boosters and I’ve become convinced,” said Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health.

But has the FDA?

That’s what it’s planning to talk about today – specifically, Pfizer’s booster – to come 6 months after the second dose.

There are two key questions here: is immunity waning? And will boosters restore it?

A lot of the data U.S health experts are looking to is from Israel, which started giving boosters July 29.

On the issue of waning immunity, their data show the more time that passed since initial vaccination, the more likely people were to get breakthrough infections.

On boosters’ effectiveness – multiple studies, again, many from Israel – how a third dose makes breakthrough infections less likely by turbo-charging the production of antibodies.

But a briefing document ahead of today’s meeting makes it clear: the FDA wants U.S data.

And state and local health departments want to make sure they’re ready, just in case – prepping for potential rollout next week.

The World Health Organization has been arguing against the use of boosters in wealthier countries until most of the rest of the world is vaccinated.