Fauci says yearly COVID boosters not out of the question

Fauci says yearly COVID boosters not out of the question

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief White House medical adviser, suggested Sunday that annual COVID vaccine booster shots may be necessary in the near future.

“It is tough to tell,” Dr. Fauci told ABC’s “This Week.” “It could very well increase the durability of protection by things that you can’t readily measure by the level of antibodies that you might have a maturation of the immune system that would prolong the durability.”

Dr. Fauci, who is also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is unknown whether a yearly booster is necessary as experts need to observe the current pandemic for several more months.

He added, “If it becomes necessary to get yet another boost, then we’ll just have to deal with it when that occurs. But I’m hoping, from an immunological standpoint, that that third shot of an mRNA and the second shot of [the Johnson & Johnson vaccine] will give a much greater durability of protection than just the six months or so that we’re seeing right now.”

Government officials began distributing booster shots in August following reports that the vaccines’ effectiveness lessened over a short period.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not changed the designation of “fully vaccinated” from two mRNA shots or one J&J shot.

Dr. Fauci, who said Wednesday on CNN that it is a matter of “when, not if” Americans will be mandated to have three shots to be considered “fully vaccinated,” noted the determination is currently under review.

“I think if you look at data, the more and more, it becomes clear that if you want to be optimally protected, you really should get a booster,” he said. “I think we’ll be continuing to evaluate what the official designation is.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

Health, The New York Today