Every American will have to be immunized against the deadly disease three times to be considered fully vaccinated, if the president’s chief medical adviser has his way.
Anthony Fauci wants U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to lift the criteria for “fully vaccinated” status to include a booster shot against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.
“From my own experience as an immunologist, I would not at all be surprised that the adequate, full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses,” he said in a statement.
Fauci, who also directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the remarks after learning Israel will require its citizens to have a third dose to continue to be “considered fully vaccinated.”
He claimed Israeli data proves administering a booster shot had a “substantial positive,” ten-fold reduction in severe symptoms for more than 1 million patients aged 60 and older.
The Middle Eastern country experienced a severe Delta variant outbreak, after recording a dramatic drop in vaccine efficacy. The major spike in infections among completely vaccinated patients began in July.
“There is no doubt from the dramatic data from the Israeli study that the boosts that are being now done there, and contemplated here, support very strongly the rationale for such an approach,” he said.
The Biden administration hopes to start injecting booster shots from Sept. 20. Those who received the two dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are eligible for the injection eight months after receiving the second dose. Booster shots for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are still being decided.
The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are still making a final decision on boosters.
“If it is long-lasting, a three-dose schedule will very certainly be the standard treatment but we will simply have to wait until the evidence is submitted to the FDA to see whether that is the case,” he said.
President Joe Biden did not wait for the FDA and CDC to reach a decision before advising all American adults to have their third shot within eight months of their previous dose. This lack of patience drew strong criticism from federal regulators and raised concerns about the White House’s booster campaign moving too quickly.
Two key FDA executives involved in vaccine development and testing recently stepped down recently in protest of various alleged regulatory failures.
Fauci had previously expressed reservations about extra vaccine doses in July, saying it was too early to discuss booster shots. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla reportedly apologized to him for prematurely disclosing the company’s work on a third injection.
In mid-August the health expert changed his mind, claiming Americans will “inevitably” require boosters.
“No vaccine, at least not within this category, is going to have an indefinite amount of protection,” he said at the time.
CDC data confirmed more than 175 million Americans, or slightly over 52% of the population, are fully vaccinated under the two-dose schedule (or one-dose for Johnson & Johnson’s formula). The percentage of fully immunized patients in the most vulnerable age group, (65 and up) rose to nearly 82%.