Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need a booster shot at this point, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement Thursday.
The news comes just hours after reports that Pfizer plans to give permission to give people a third shot of its coronavirus vaccine amid the rise in more transmissible coronavirus variants around the country. The company, along with vaccine co-developer BioNTech, said a third injection could significantly “boost”
However, the FDA and CDC said that those who are fully vaccinated so far are well protected against COVID-19 and its variants. All of the vaccines available in the United States provide significant protection against coronavirus, including the new delta strain.
“People who are fully vaccinated are protected from serious illness and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” the agencies said in a joint statement. “People who have not been vaccinated are at risk. Almost all COVID-19 deaths are among those not vaccinated. ”
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this point,” they continued, adding that researchers are testing whether a booster may be needed in the future.
“We are prepared for booster doses if and when science shows they are necessary.”
Pfizer and BioNTech also said Thursday that they will begin developing a version of a COVID-19 vaccine targeted at the delta variant and that they expect to launch clinical trials by next month.
Public health officials have continued to urge Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19, especially as the delta strain of coronavirus is now estimated to be the dominant variant in the United States. The concern is particularly focused on states with lower vaccination rates, which have seen increasing numbers of new infections due to the high transmission of the delta variant.
“What keeps me awake at night? Knowing preliminary data from some US states suggests that 99.5% of # COVID19 deaths were in unvaccinated ppl, ”wrote Dr. Rochelle Waleknsky, director of the CDC, on Twitter on Thursday. “Unnecessary death, unnecessary suffering from being unvaccinated. These deaths, the pain, can be prevented. Get vaccinated. ”
Other variants of interest have already been seen in the United States, including reports of the gamma strain in the state of Washington as well as the lambda strain, which has spread widely in South America.
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