On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that booster doses against COVID-19 of Moderna, which was all set to roll out around 20th September, may now be delayed.
The US president Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Fauci, said that the government was planning on administering booster shots from Pfizer as well as Moderna at once, but the plan might now work now.
COVID-19 Booster Shots Of Moderna May Be Delayed
Talking to CNN’s Jim Acosta, Fauci said that information from Pfizer was submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration and the report looks like things are ready to go. He added that it is likely that booster doses of Moderna will be delayed, at least for a week or two.
Fauci said that he doesn’t believe the issue is major, but the government would’ve liked introducing both vaccines’ booster doses together. But the plan will be carried out as put forth earlier.
He said that such plans are always dependent on the companies putting their data on the table firstly, then it gets approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and lastly if it gets the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation.
Fauci believes that immunization against COVID-19 might require three vaccine doses.
Talking to CNN, Fauci said that observations conclude that other than the US, in countries like the UK and Israel, the effectiveness of vaccines wear off, especially when it comes to the delta variant.
He further explained that wearing off of vaccines’ effectiveness can lead to breakthrough infections that may need hospitalizations.
He said that when we look at the proof from the country, there isn’t any doubt that there is a reduction in vaccines’ effectiveness. He said data from Israel, which is a month ahead of the US in terms of boosters and vaccinations, reveal that its protection to prevent hospitalizations also wanes.
He said good news from Israeli data is that the booster shots offer extreme protection against hospitalizations and severe infection cases.
He added that data says that boosters higher up the protection level against the virus than two primary doses and the experts are hoping that the response from boosters will be durable.
On Wednesday, the US FDA has scheduled a meeting on 17th September with the vaccine advisors to plan on booster doses. The head of the FDA’s vaccine division, Dr. Peter Marks, said that the government announced booster dose plans this fall and the FDA is evaluating the effectiveness and safety of these booster doses.
The data for additional doses was submitted by Pfizer and BioNTech last month and Moderna applied for the same on Wednesday.
Marks, leader of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said that the process of approval takes the manufacturer company to submit its data of effectiveness and safety, and then the agency supports it after evaluation. Marks added that the FDA is studying data from these companies and will consult the advisory committee of the agency.
The CEO of Moderna, Stephane Bancel, said that they have begun their booster dose process at a dose of 50 micrograms to the FDA. Bancel said that their data is developed with 50 microgram shots of their coronavirus vaccine.
The dose of 50 micrograms is just half, the vaccines by Moderna offer 100 micrograms per dose for primary vaccination.
The company said that their booster doses improved levels of antibodies to above their emergency use authorization benchmark. The company added that their boosters provide significant protection even at ages above 65 years.
The company said that even half a dose of shots of the Moderna vaccine made enough antibodies to fight against some concerning variants like Beta, Gamma and Delta.