White House COVID-19 advisor Anthony Fauci said that it is “likely” and “inevitable” that people will need a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, coming as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the possibility of giving additional doses to certain individuals.
“It’s likely that that will happen at some time in the future,” Fauci told CBS News on Thursday when he was asked if everyone will need a booster shot in the future. Several days earlier, he and other officials said the booster shots will only be recommended for immunocompromised individuals.
“When it does get to a certain level, we will be prepared to give boosters to those people, but from what you just said a moment ago, it is imminent that we will be giving it to immune-compromised” individuals, he added, appearing to suggest that he shifted the goalposts on the booster shots because COVID-19 data is being followed in real-time.
In a separate interview on Thursday with NBC News, Fauci further added that “inevitably, there will be a time when we’ll have to give boosts to the general population.”
Later Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, told reporters in a virtual briefing that drug regulators are working with Pfizer and Moderna “to allow boosters” for vulnerable people, such as those with compromised immune systems.
“An additional dose could help increase protection for these individuals, which is especially important as the Delta variant spread,” she said. “At this time, only certain immune-compromised individuals may need an additional dose.”
A spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which would authorize booster shots, told The Epoch Times in an email: “The FDA is closely monitoring data as it becomes available from studies administering an additional dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to immunocompromised individuals. The agency, along with the CDC, is evaluating potential options on this issue, and will share information in the near future.”
The remarks come as Fauci, Walensky, and other officials have said the Delta COVID-19 variant can be transmitted among vaccinated people, creating confusion about whether vaccination is an effective means of dealing with the pandemic. Last month, the CDC issued a recommendation—based on a study in Cape Cod that found a significant number of vaccinated individuals could transmit the virus—that Americans in high-transmission areas wear masks.
But Fauci told NBC that the vaccines “are still doing what you originally want them to do,” which is “to keep you out of the hospital to prevent you from getting seriously ill.”
Meanwhile, a new study from nference and the Mayo Clinic found that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 shots, which use mRNA technology, saw a decline in effectiveness in July. Moderna’s vaccine dropped to 76 percent, the report found, while Pfizer’s dropped to a mere 42 percent. The study didn’t evaluate the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which uses different technology.
“While both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines strongly protect against infection and severe disease,” the researchers wrote, “there are differences in their real-world effectiveness relative to each other and relative to prior months of the pandemic.”
According to a draft agenda, the CDC’s advisory panel is scheduled to meet on booster shots at around 11 a.m. on Friday.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.