(WXYZ) — The Biden Administration today formally recommended that Americans get a booster COVID vaccine shot. Officials say the additional dose should be given eight months after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
We have been expecting this news, primarily because scientists have found the vaccines’ effectiveness starts to wane over a certain period of time. Another major reason for the booster is the rapid spread of the Delta variant, which now accounts for more than 98-percent of cases in the U.S.
Based on the scientific studies, the Biden Administration feels the additional vaccine dose will keep Americans better protected against the coronavirus and its variants in the coming months.
The Food and Drug Administration still has to authorize this third dose for the general population, but they are expected to do so in the coming weeks. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention also has to sign off on the recommendation. That will clear the way for eligible Americans to get a booster shot beginning September 20.
Nursing home residents and other seniors, as well as healthcare providers and emergency workers will be the first to receive the additional doses. That’s because they were among the first to get fully vaccinated early this year.
Meanwhile, as I told you last week, people with compromised immune systems have already started to get a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for added protection.
Right now, the booster dose is only being recommended for recipients of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But, that doesn’t mean the people who chose the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine won’t need a booster. The FDA says it needs more data to determine the impact of an additional dose of the J&J vaccine, which rolled out in March, later than the other two vaccines.
Johnson and Johnson is conducting clinical trials on the two doses. Results are expected later this month. The most recent studies indicate their vaccine provides immunity for at least eight months, and possibly longer. It also appears to provide adequate protection against the Delta variant. But we just have to wait a little longer to see if and when booster shots of the J&J vaccine are necessary. About 14 million Americans have received the J&J shot.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
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