“It will depend on who you are,” Fauci told the Financial Times in an interview published on Feb. 9, “but if you are a normal, healthy 30-year-old person with no underlying conditions, you might need a booster only every four or five years.”
Fauci had suggested in an interview with NBC News last month that it might be necessary for people to receive booster doses every year.
“We’ve only recently boosted people. We will find out if the booster gives you a degree of durability of protection and actually should be the standard regimen of three doses of an mRNA and two doses of [Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine],” he said last month. “Or—and it’s a big ‘or’ right now—will we need to boost people every year or so?”
According to a study released on Feb. 12 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the efficacy of mRNA vaccine boosters starts to decline after about four months. The study didn’t include an age breakdown and only focused on individuals who sought treatment when the Omicron variant was spreading.
“There may be the need for yet again another boost—in this case, a fourth-dose boost for an individual receiving the mRNA—that could be based on age, as well as underlying conditions,” Fauci told reporters on Feb. 9.
Recommendations for a fourth dose of the vaccine likely will not be made across the board, he said.
During the Financial Times interview, Fauci, who has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly 40 years, suggested that the United States is moving out of “the full-blown pandemic phase.”
It came as several Democrat governors moved to rescind statewide mask mandates, although some local municipalities have decided to keep them intact.
Meanwhile, Swedish health officials said on Feb. 14 that they are recommending a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot for individuals aged 80 and older.
As with the first round of booster shots, those boosters should consist of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, the health agency said.
The recommendation also covered all people living in nursing homes or who receive assisted living services at home. The second booster shot should be administered at least four months after the first booster jab, the agency said in a statement.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Reuters contributed to this report.