US to recommend third COVID-19 vaccine dose as booster

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The US is expected to recommend its population to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as a booster eight months after the second shot.


The programme could start in mid-late September to provide extra protection against the Delta variant, with an announcement expected as early as this week.


READ: Businesses offer vaccine incentives as pingdemic self-isolation ends


The Food and Drug Administration would have to approve this policy, the Independent reported.


The first people to be called in would be those who have received the inoculation by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) Inc and BioNTech, with priority for healthcare workers and the elderly.


On Monday, the pair submitted data on the phase 1 trial on the shots used as a booster.


The trial group “show that the third dose elicited significantly higher neutralizing antibodies against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus (wild type) compared to the levels observed after the two-dose primary series, as well as against the Beta variant and the highly infectious Delta variant,” the statement read.


US authorities have started collecting data on the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccine, which only requires one shot, to understand if a booster is required.


The US has also been administering the injection developed by Moderna Inc.


The White House has been concerned about a study from Israel where preliminary data suggested that people who had been vaccinated in January started getting lower protection.


The analysis was only carried out on people who had received the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) jab. Israel has already started offering booster shots to people over 60 who had received the second dose five months prior.


“With booster shots on the horizon, one of the biggest questions for how the world adapts to Covid in the long term will be the extent to which vaccinated individuals maintain their immunity from the first two doses, or whether further shots will be required on an ongoing basis in order to maximise protection and reduce pressure on health services,” analysts at Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) commented.


Shares in Pfizer were up 1% to US$49.48 at open.

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