Fauci says the vast majority of Americans who have been vaccinated should get a booster dose of COVID-19

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Work and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 20, 2021. Stephanie Reynolds/Collect via Reuters

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The vast majority of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 should receive a booster dose, and an additional dose could eventually become a booster dose for the country, the top US infectious disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Tuesday. The criterion for determining who is fully vaccinated.

Fauci and other disease experts said they expect COVID-19 this spring to transition from an epidemic stage in the United States to an endemic disease, which means that the virus will continue to spread at a lower level, causing a smaller, less disruptive but still larger scale. The disease will spread significantly in the coming years. Read more

But some are expressing new concern about an increase in infections in the United States in recent weeks, a trend that is likely to accelerate as more Americans travel and gather to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States this week and other upcoming holidays.

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“We want to increase the number of people who were originally vaccinated with the first regimen,” Fauci said in an interview with the upcoming Reuters conference.

When asked to quantify, he said the “vast majority” of fully vaccinated Americans should now receive a booster dose of COVID-19 based on data showing they provide “significant” protection beyond what was seen from the original vaccination.

To date, about 33 million Americans have received a booster dose. The government recently expanded eligibility for an additional dose to all adults in the United States. Read more

Studies from Israel and other countries have shown that vaccine protection wanes over time. While the data initially indicated that this is a problem mostly in older adults, there is more recent evidence that it occurs among all age groups, Fauci said.

“This is why we are so keen to get as many people originally vaccinated as possible to get a booster dose…because they are already doing their job,” he said.

As the COVID-19 vaccine trial grows, it is conceivable that the definition of “complete and complete regimen” in the United States will include three doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines (PFE.N)/ BioNTech and Moderna (mrna.o) 2 doses of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) A vaccine, he said, is similar to what some other countries have done.

“Right now, officially, a full vaccination equals two shots of mRNA and one shot of J&J, but without a doubt that could change,” he said. This is up for discussion.”

As for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, which began with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine earlier this month, Fauci said there was no sign of any new safety issues. “There is absolutely no signal,” Fauci said.

At least 10% of 28 million eligible children have received a first dose, Jeff Zentes, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said Monday.

Fauci said people need to realize that no vaccine is completely free of side effects. But when you consider the risks of COVID-19 compared to the very rare risk of an adverse event in a child, “overwhelmingly…the benefits far outweigh the risks.”

When asked if he might consider retiring anytime soon, the 80-year-old immunologist who heads the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “I’m not thinking about it remotely right now.”

Fauci said he still wants to see the end of COVID-19 as a pandemic, and he also wants to see progress in ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic, to which he has devoted much of his career.

“There’s a lot of unfinished business right now, so I’m not even thinking about turning away.”

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(Reporting by Michael Gershberg) Written by Julie Steenhuisen; Editing by Bill Bercrot

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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