White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci signaled Wednesday that Americans should prepare for a third vaccine shot to become the norm as part of the country’s effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
ABC News reports:
In an interview with the podcast “In the Bubble,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told former White House adviser Andy Slavitt that he predicts three doses will become the standard dosing regimen for COVID-19 vaccines going forward. Fauci cited new data from Israel that vaccine protection against hospitalization dropped in recent months from some 97% to 77% or 78%. […] Fauci added that that he thinks it will probably be the end of 2022 or early 2023 before much of the world is vaccinated.
Fauci has previously estimated that Americans will need a booster vaccine shot within a year.
“I think we will almost certainly require a booster sometime within a year or so, after getting the primary [shot], because the durability of protection against coronaviruses is generally not lifelong,” Fauci stated during an event organized by Axios, and sponsored by PhRMA.
Fauci’s remarks come after Biden revealed that federal health officials are now considering guidelines for booster shots just five months after individuals receive their complete immunizations.
“We’re considering the advice you’ve given that we should start earlier,” Biden stated during a recent Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “Should it be as little as five months and that’s being discussed.”
However, federal health officials have urged the White House to pump the brakes on plans to publicly offer the shots, warning additional time is required to examine incoming data, the New York Times reports.
Meanwhile, two top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials overseeing the review of COVID-19 vaccine applications are said to be departing this coming fall, raising concern about future review processes at the agency.
Bloomberg News reported:
Marion Gruber, head of the regulator’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, plans to retire on Oct. 31 and Philip Krause, deputy director for the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, will be leaving the following month, according to an email to staff that was viewed by Bloomberg.
U.S. health officials have been working to evaluate Covid vaccines and treatments at top speed, with shots from Moderna Inc., Johnson & Johnson and the partnership of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE cleared in record time. Now the agency is charged with considering the administration’s booster program, which is set to roll out additional shots for most U.S. vaccinated adults Sept. 20.
“We are confident in the expertise and ability of our staff to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines,” Stephanie Caccomo, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said.