Fauci suggests boosters may be required to be considered fully vaccinated

Several states are expanding eligibility for adults to get boosters even though federal agencies have not yet recommended the practice

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 17 November 2021 19:29

Related video: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots - Who Is Eligible?

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Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that coronavirus vaccination booster shots may become standard for people to be considered "fully" vaccinated.

The doctor made the comments in a pre-taped interview that was aired at the 2021 STAT Summit, according to ABC News.

"I happen to believe as an immunologist and infectious disease person that a third shot boost for an mRNA [vaccine] ... should be part of the actual standard regimen, where a booster isn't a luxury," he said. "A booster isn't an add-on and a booster is part of what the original regimen should be. So that when we look back on this, we're going to see that boosters are essential for an optimal vaccine regimen."

Some states allow adults to obtain a third coronavirus booster shot six months after their second dose of the vaccine.

The US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centres for Disease Control have not recommended the practice for anyone under the age of 65, but many states have decided not to wait for the organisations to clear the boosters. Instead, they are expanding eligibility for boosters to everyone over the age of 18 so long as it has been six months since their second vaccine shot.

Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico and West Virginia are the states moving forward without the federal agencies' clearance.

Hemi Tewarson, the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Police, told CNN that some states are becoming frustrated waiting for the agencies as cases begin to increase again in their communities.

"The reason they've gone ahead and done this is they are really concerned about experiencing another wave in their state of transmissions and we have seen in some states an uptick in Covid-19 cases," she said. "Unfortunately, a lot of those are driven by those who are not vaccinated, but there are some breakthrough infections among those who are vaccinated."

Ms Tewarson said that worries over breakthrough cases has driven some of the desire among the public for booster shots.

"From a public perception, there are some that really do want the boosters. They are worried about breakthrough transmission," Ms Tewarson said. "So, I think this is where governors -- at least some governors -- are trying to address the tension here of some in the public who really want to take that extra step even though we don't know yet what all the data tells us."

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