The White House will announce that most Americans will need Covid-19 booster shots eight months after their initial vaccination, citing data that shows signs of waning immunity.
“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability,” a group of eight officials, including infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said in a statement.
Beginning September 20, booster shots will be available for people who are eight months out from their last shot.
Initial priority will most likely be given to home residents, health care workers and emergency respondents.
Recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine will also likely need boosters, but officials are awaiting more data in the next few weeks before making a formal recommendation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to fully approve Pfizer’s vaccine for distribution in the coming month. All vaccines are currently being distributed under an emergency authorization approved late last year.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.