White House to recommend 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose
Several media outlets are reporting that the White House intends to announce next week that recipients of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should receive a third dose of vaccine 8 months after their second dose in order to boost protection against the Delta (B1617.2) variant.
The proposed third doses could be administered as soon as mid-September, sources told The New York Times, with nursing home residents and healthcare workers poised to get the first shots, followed by elderly Americans who were vaccinated last winter.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will need to authorize additional shots, and guidance for Johnson & Johnson recipients will follow after that company releases results from a second-dose trial later this month. White House officials say people will be encouraged to get a third dose of whichever mRNA vaccine they first received.
Much of the decision has been based on Israel’s experience. Israel was the first country to vaccinate a large swath of its population with the Pfizer vaccine in January. Ongoing studies show that antibodies, especially in older people, begin to wane after 6 to 8 months.
According to the latest data from Israel, the Pfizer vaccine is now only 55% effective for Israelis 65 and older who completed the two-dose vaccine regimen in January.