The United States' top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has previously announced that health officials recommended a COVID-19 booster shot after eight months from the initial vaccination date.
This week, the medical expert said during an interview that government authorities will be flexible when it comes to administering booster shots depending on available data. Fauci said health officials will observe data and be in line with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
He said that while they are recommending the booster shots eight months after the initial vaccinations, that timeframe could change based on the data they observe. However, Fauci argued that there are many other ways that the United States can take to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection across the nation.
Fauci said about 80 million Americans who were now eligible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus who have not yet had their chance to get inoculated. He said the government's priority should be to vaccinate all residents who are able to receive the treatments. The medical expert said the vaccines are the highly effective tools that they can use to fight the virus, Politico reported.
Over the last month, data showed that the daily coronavirus case average in the country has increased by 153%. Health officials also reported that hospitalizations in the United States surpassed 100,000 for the first time since January and deaths related to the COVID-19 are surging.
On Friday, United States President Joe Biden announced his administration was discussing whether or not booster shots should be given as early as five months after vaccination. The Democrat's concept was shared during a meeting with the Israeli prime minister who recommended the idea.
From late 2020, the region has experienced its steepest surge of COVID-19 cases, recording the highest number of hospitalized patients in the last seven months. Since July 4, pediatric hospital admissions also shot up, seeing a rise of 514% for children under 18 suffering from the coronavirus, ABC News reported.
Possibility of Adding More Doses
On Sunday, Fauci said he also expected Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines to have always needed a third dose while the Johnson & Johnson treatment needed a second dose. This is despite the fact that health officials previously said the original dose regiment of the treatments was the standard.
The medical expert said the vaccines were made in a rush to prevent the deaths of more people who were not protected against the virus. Fauci said that if given the standard deadline, pharmaceutical companies would have given Phase 2 studies various intervals of dosing to see which is more effective. He said it was entirely possible that the mRNA vaccines would have had a different dose regimen to what they are currently suggesting.
Fauci said that at the beginning of creating the coronavirus vaccines, medical experts were in a fight against time. They wanted to save lives as quickly as they could so as to not allow the pandemic to grow to uncontrollable proportions. He noted there was nothing wrong with starting with two doses but said there should be a consensus to consider adding more doses to the original plan, Business Insider reported.