Fully vaccinated Americans do not need a booster shot at this time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
In a joint statement released Friday, the agencies said that a full vaccination will protect most people from severe disease and death, and will guard against infection from currently circulating coronavirus variants such as the highly transmissible Delta variant.
That doesn’t mean that a booster shot is not in our future, however, the agencies added. Federal scientific bodies are reviewing data as it arrives to determine next steps, they stated.
“FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary,” they said, adding, “We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed.”
Pfizer wants feds to OK third shot, will upgrade current vaccine
Meanwhile, the vaccine maker Pfizer will seek federal approval to offer a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine in its recommended two-shot schedule. Data in an ongoing trial shows that a booster dose given six months after the vaccine’s second dose could significantly improve immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants, it reported.
A third dose within that time frame has been shown to be highly protective against all currently known variants, including the Delta variant, the company stated in a Thursday release.
In addition, Pfizer also is developing a new, updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine, noting that vaccine effectiveness wanes over time, as seen in real-world studies from Israel. The new Pfizer shot will target the full spike protein of the Delta variant, the company said. It expects trials to begin in August.
Unvaccinated Americans continue to remain at high risk of severe COVID-19, CDC and FDA officials warned. “Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated,” they said in the Friday statement.