KUALA LUMPUR, August 17 — US president Joe Biden’s administration is planning to announce that most Americans should get a Covid-19 booster shot eight months after they have been fully vaccinated, according to several news reports.
The decision will expand the group of people who should get extra doses beyond those with weakened immune systems, which makes up just 2.7 per cent of the US adult population. US regulators authorised a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for the immunocompromised Friday.
The New York Times reported that the US could start offering a third shot as early as mid-September. The Times reported that those who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will require additional protection against the Delta variant, while recipients of the one-dose regimen Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also need an additional dose pending trial results.
Nursing home residents and health care workers will likely receive the booster shots first, with older individuals following close behind.
The Washington Post reported that the boosters will not be administered until an application by Pfizer for additional shots is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
US officials view Israel as a template as vaccinations started sooner. According to the Times, the latest data from Israel showed what experts describe as a continued efficacy erosion of the Pfizer vaccine, both against asymptomatic and mild Covid-19 infections in general and against severe disease among the elderly.
Israel has administered nearly a million booster Covid-19 vaccine shots to date, ignoring pleas by the World Health Organization (WHO) to stop giving third coronavirus shots, amid rising cases since late July due to the spread of the Delta variant.
Its health ministry told local newspaper Haaretz that the decision to administer a third shot was made after medical factors were taken into consideration and that inoculating Israelis with a third dose saves lives.