This week, Texas reported over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases with children and unvaccinated adults being the two groups hit hardest in the fight against the delta variant.
Right now, with only 44 percent of Texans fully vaccinated and the variant surging across the country, booster shots for the elderly and immunocompromised may be coming soon according to the Biden administration.
The Biden administration is requesting the Food and Drug Administration provide a plan on the booster vaccination rollout since some Americans who were vaccinated in the beginning of 2021 could see protection against the virus decrease.
“It is extremely important for us to move to get those individuals their boosters, and we are now working on that and will make that be implemented as quickly as possible, because for us and for the individuals involved it is a very high priority,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said in a press briefing with C-SPAN.
However the Food and Drug administration is researching whether or not a vaccine booster is even necessary.
A FDA representative wrote the Signal this statement in regards to COVID-19 vaccine booster shots:
“The FDA along with the CDC and NIH, are evaluating potential solutions to questions on the use of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The agencies are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.”
The representative also wrote that the process to create a booster shot will take time and requires a lot of data:
“This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data – which can include data from specific pharmaceutical companies, but does not rely on those data exclusively. We continue to review any new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed. We are prepared for booster doses if and when science demonstrates that they are needed.”
However, when it comes to immunocompromised individuals, the FDA is announcing news on a booster shot soon.
“The FDA is closely monitoring data as it becomes available from studies administering an additional dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to immunocompromised individuals. The agency, along with the CDC, is evaluating potential options on this issue, and will share information in the near future,” the representative wrote.
Although the Center for Disease Control has not officially approved a vaccination booster, the FDA is set to approve Moderna and Pfizer booster shots as soon as next month.
Pfizer and Moderna officials are both recommending a booster vaccination shot to maintain a high efficacy rate against the Delta and Beta variants.
Moderna released a statement last week that the original vaccine has a 93 percent efficacy rate that is durable six months after the second dose.
A trial by Sisonke, discovered that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is 95 percent effective against the Delta variant and results show that people with the J&J vaccine will most likely not need a booster shot.
Other countries like Israel, France, and Germany have already approved booster vaccinations for their elderly and immunocompromised residents.
However, in early August, the World Health Organization asked wealthier countries, like the U.S., to hold off on booster shots because of vaccine disparity in poorer countries.
“We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low income countries,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.
The Signal also reached out to the CDC for a comment, but did not hear back.
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.