The Senior Medical Advisor to the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Tuesday that Covid booster vaccinations are currently unnecessary.
“The discussion about boosters is really adequate preparation on the part of the [drug] Company are working with the NIH and CDC and others to be prepared in the event you may need a boost, “Fauci said in the Squawk Box.
“But if you translate that into ‘We’re going to need a boost; everyone is going to get a boost’, that’s not appropriate. We still haven’t vaccinated enough people in the main part of it,” he added, emphasizing the booster discussion. ” has absolutely nothing to do with the effectiveness of the vaccine “.
With schools reopening in the fall and the spread of new coronavirus variants, questions are circulating about the need for booster vaccinations, even if the pace of primary vaccinations in the US has slowed since the spring.
On Monday, Pfizer officials met with federal health officials to advocate for the potential need for Covid boosters as the drug company prepares for US approval of a third dose of its current vaccine.
Pfizer announced last week that it is also developing a booster vaccine to combat the highly transmissible Delta variant – now the dominant strain of the virus in the US – and said the immunity was boosted by its Two, developed with German partner BioNTech Shot vaccine wears off.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration released a joint statement blaming Pfizer’s insistence on a third dose, saying that fully vaccinated Americans do not currently need a booster dose.
The officials’ conversation with Pfizer was mostly “a courtesy meeting,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, also told CNBC on Tuesday. He said the real question right now is how long protection against the vaccines will last and at what level of protection, a view shared by other health experts.
Former Obama administration official, Dr. Kavita Patel told CNBC on Monday ahead of the Pfizer meeting that booster shots seem like “inevitable” due to newer variations, but questioned when it will happen. She also stressed that when discussing boosters in the US, it is important to take into account the global impact on vaccine adoption in other parts of the world.
Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNBC on Friday that he had “seen no evidence yet of anyone needing a third injection”.
According to CDC data, the majority of Americans were vaccinated with Pfizer, followed by the two-shot Moderna vaccine and Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot course. More than 184 million people in the United States, or 55.5% of the population, have had at least one injection. Almost 160 million people, or 48% of the population, are fully vaccinated.
Fauci also told CNBC on Tuesday that he would be “amazed” if Pfizer, Moderna and J & J’s coronavirus vaccines don’t get full approval from US drug regulators. These three vaccines are the only ones approved by the FDA in the United States, and they were approved for emergency approval.