US COVID-19 vaccine booster program to begin Sep 20
Today White House officials released details of their plan to deliver booster COVID-19 shots for all fully vaccinated US adults who completed their two-dose mRNA vaccination regimen at least 8 months prior. The booster program will begin the week of Sep 20.
“It is now our clinical judgment that the time to put out a plan for boosters is now,” said Vivek Murthy, MD, the US Surgeon General. “We have data that protection against moderate disease decreases over time.”
Murthy said the boosters will be contingent on the Food and Drug Administration authorizing the third dose.
Throughout the press briefing, officials explained new data published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which shows the current mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech afforded waning protection against infection from March to July 2021, and decreased effectiveness as the Delta (B1617.2) variant has surged to become the dominant strain in the country. (See related CIDRAP News story.)
Murthy said he anticipates a booster will also be needed for the more than 13 million Americans who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but guidance will hinge on data expected from that company in the coming weeks.
“We are not recommending that you go out and get a booster today,” he said.