CDC Director: Annual COVID-19 Shots After Booster Not Expected

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
August 19, 2021Vaccines
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CDC Director: Annual COVID-19 Shots After Booster Not Expected
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 20, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/Pool/Getty Images)

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said an annual COVID-19 booster shot is not anticipated, although the CEO of Pfizer several months ago said otherwise.

When asked about the need for annual booster doses, Director Rachelle Walensky said, “I don’t want to say never, but we are not necessarily anticipating that you will need this annually.”

“It does look like after this third dose you get a really robust response, and so we will continue to follow the science both on the vaccine side but also on the virus side,” she said during a CBS News interview on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, Walenksy and other federal health agency chiefs said during a joint news conference that they will recommend boosters to individuals who received their second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose after eight months, starting Sept. 20. The CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not authorized the doses yet.

During the CBS interview, Walensky said that “several studies” showed the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna showed “waning effectiveness” against the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“We’ve also been in collaboration and discussions with our international colleagues and they are starting to see … presentation of worsening infection in the context of their breakthroughs,” she said.

Walensky was referring to three different studies published Wednesday on the CDC website, including one from the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Team and the Vermont-based Lantana Consulting Group, that found the mRNA vaccines’ efficacy against infection plummeted to around 53 percent in July, falling about 22 percent from May.

Inside the United States, some experts questioned the CDC’s data.

“The message I got from reading all three [studies] was that there may be some reduction in infection protection with delta in nursing homes, but no data about waning protection from severe disease or hospitalization,” Dr. Walid Gellad, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, wrote on Twitter.

The recent U.S. proposals to provide booster shots now have been flagged by some health experts as unethical and premature. The World Health Organization (WHO) went on the offensive this week, saying that wealthier nations like the United States should prioritize donating vaccines to poorer nations.

Other critics, such as former President Donald Trump, accused the CDC and FDA of promoting boosters to bolster profits for pharmaceutical companies, namely Pfizer.

And Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted that the FDA and CDC are misleading the public.

“Just last month, CDC & FDA said no booster needed. At the time, they worried that the truth about long term vaccine efficacy would cause ‘vaccine hesitancy,'” the Kentucky Republican wrote. “They ignored widely available data and drug manufacturers, because both indicated efficacy had dropped significantly.”

Earlier this year, the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla said that it is likely that people will have to receive the vaccine booster dose every 12 months, similar to the annual flu shot. His comments drew pushback from White House officials at the time.

President Biden in an ABC News interview aired on Thursday that both he and first lady Jill Biden will be getting booster shots.

“It’s something that I think, you know, because we got our shots all the way back in I think December, so it’s past time,” Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “Yes, we will get the booster shots.”

From The Epoch Times

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