Top White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is advising that the COVID-19 booster shot is “essential” to prevent severe illness and hospitalization due to the virus in light of the vaccine’s “waning immunity.”
Last week, the NIH doctor told “The Daily,” a podcast from The New York Times, that early studies are indicating that the booster “reverses some of the waning effects” that those previously considered fully vaccinated could experience, BizPac Review reported.
Fauci pointed to data coming in from Israel, which he says is as much as a month and a half ahead of the U.S. in regards to the pandemic.
“They are seeing a waning of immunity not only against infection but against hospitalization and to some extent death, which is starting to now involve all age groups. It isn’t just the elderly,” he said. “It’s waning to the point that you’re seeing more and more people getting breakthrough infections, and more and more of those people who are getting breakthrough infections are winding up in the hospital.”
“If one looks back at this, one can say, do you know, it isn’t as if a booster is a bonus, but a booster might actually be an essential part of the primary regimen that people should have,” he explained. “I think … that the boosting is gonna be an absolutely essential component of our response, not a bonus, not a luxury, but an absolute essential part of the program.”
BPR notes that neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the Food and Drug Administration have declared booster eligibility for the general public, but recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been authorized to get the booster, while only high-risk recipients of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine are authorized for a third dose.
While the CDC gave the green light on a pediatric dose of the vaccine earlier this month, paving the way for children aged 5-11 to get the shot, boosters have not yet been authorized for children.
Dr. Fauci firmly emphasized that he believes boosters are important and dismissed any safety concerns surrounding a third shot and that despite a lack of data, he predicts once enough people get the booster, we will see that they were effective.
“We’ve shown that boosters are safe and effective in dramatically increasing the response not only immunologically, but also when you look at the clinical data from Israel, it’s very clear that it reverses some of the waning effect that you see in people who have been vaccinated six months or more,” he said.
“I think when all is said and done, as we get through boosting the overwhelming majority of the people who’ve been primarily vaccinated, we’re gonna say, just like other vaccines that require multiple doses, like hepatitis B, like some of the childhood vaccinations, that it is likely a booster is needed,” he continued.
“I’m making my own personal projection as an immunologist and infectious disease person. We don’t have the proof yet—the proof of the pudding will be after you get people vaccinated and boosted, and we have a greater durability of protection that doesn’t wane as easily,” Dr. Fauci concluded.