On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated in an interview that administering booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to the entire population of the United States would become an ‘absolutely essential’ part of combating the pandemic. He justified his statement by pointing out Israel’s experience where the booster shot is concerned. The data from Israel clearly indicates that the protection of the vaccines starts waning in people after six months or so. Speaking on ‘The Daily’ podcast, he said that just like Israel, booster shots would be essential for all adults who have already been vaccinated twice.
The President’s Chief Medical Adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci said that the shot would be ‘absolutely essential’ to their campaign. He added that it wouldn’t be a luxury, or a bonus, but an absolutely essential part of the overall program. This interview is part of aneffort by health officials in the US, along with Fauci, to make the booster shot available to all adults who have already been vaccinated twice. Currently, the United States is only offering the third shot of the vaccine to those who are 65 or older, people living or working in high-risk settings, those suffering from underlying medical conditions or staying in long-term facilities.
Pfizer had asked regulators in the United States last week to extend the availability of the booster shot to everyone aged 18 and above in the country. There are some other top health officials who have expressed their doubts about the need for expanding the eligibility of the third shot. However, Fauci said that the plateau they had hit in the fall in infections in the country was ‘sobering’. He expressed concerns that with already 73,000 infections being diagnosed daily, a surge coming at this time could prove to be devastating.
He stated that only through vaccination of more people and ‘aggressively’ giving the third shot to those who are twice-vaccinated would it be possible for them to mitigate a possible fifth wave of the coronavirus. Talking about Israel, Fauci said that Israel had proven to be ahead of the US by at least a month or even a month and a half at all times in dynamic of the virus outbreak as well as their vaccine response and other areas. He highlighted that people in Israel had experienced a reduction in immunity after six months of vaccination and this was evident not just in the case of infection, but also hospitalization and even death in some cases.
He added that this involved people from all age groups and not only the elderly. He opined that similar to Israel, which had decided to administer the booster shot to the entire population above the age of 12 without waiting for scientific studies, the US should also not wait for data to prove the necessity of the booster shot and move forward with it. He said that such a large-scale program was essential for saving more lives. He said they didn’t have proof as yet, but would have it once people are vaccinated and have greater protection.