Concerns over plans for a variable booster vaccine for COVID delta

Concerns over plans for a variable booster vaccine for COVID delta worldwide

The World Health Organization calls for global booster plans to be halted, while California gives Johnson & Johnson receives the green light for an mRNA dose. This is what happens with reinforcers.

Medical studies indicate that vaccines still provide robust protection against the most severe effects of COVID-19 and its variants.

A UK scientific advisory group (PDF), which has described the elimination of the COVID-19 virus as "unlikely," said there was a "realistic possibility" of a variant emerging that would resist the current set of vaccines. Public health organizations and vaccine makers are tracking developments in coronavirus variants such as delta and lambda, hoping to answer whether there is a need for booster shots targeting new variants soon.

In the United States, "breakthrough" cases of MERS caused by the delta-dominant variant reach less than 1% of fully vaccinated people. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have more than 90% effective against hospitalization and death. The sudden rise in new COVID-19 cases primarily affects people who are not immunized and causes community spread, hence the return of mandates for masks and guidance in the hardest-hit areas, even for people who are fully protected from the vaccine. The controversy over the use of masks and vaccine boosters underscores how scientists and other health experts continue to deal with the uncertainties of COVID-19.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that vaccinated people could contract and spread the highly contagious delta form.  The delta variant spreads as quickly as chickenpox and is more contagious than influenza.

 The CDC said it's weighing a third dose of the vaccine for people with weakened immune systems. Over the weekend, Israel began giving third doses of the vaccine to those 60 and over; it has led to a backlash among countries struggling to offer first and second choices to residents.

On Wednesday, the Head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for a "stop" of booster injections in high-income countries, citing the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines. Of the 4 billion doses taken globally, 80% went to high- and middle-income countries.

What does all this mean in the United States? Here's what we know about the improved COVID shots now

Booster Vaccine vs. the New COVID Vaccine: There's a Difference

Along with Moderna, Pfizer's current two-dose vaccine offers additional protection against the variants of COVID-19; Pfizer announced in July that the third dose of its vaccine is currently in development. The company said that its research showed that the booster vaccine for the current vaccine increased antibody levels. . A third booster dose may be needed "within six to 12 months" after the person has been fully vaccinated with the first two doses. Pfizer said the booster injection could enhance protection against the delta variant, which infects people who have received complete vaccinations. Clinical trials for the booster dose begin as Pfizer seeks regulatory government approval for a third dose.

However, while the booster vaccine will complement two doses of its current vaccine, Pfizer is also separately working on formulating a new vaccine that targets the delta variant.

What do the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization think about a booster dose?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the booster issue requires extensive scientific data and does not depend on input from drug companies alone. "Almost all hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are among those who have not been vaccinated," the statement said, adding that agencies will approve booster doses "if and when science proves they are necessary."

Views may change. There is a growing demand among health officials in the Biden administration that older adults and those with weakened immune systems may need this. The control center of

Pathologists explore options for administering third doses even before authorization. In some countries in  Europe, officials in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have already begun planning booster doses for the most vulnerable.

At the World Health Organization's press conference on Wednesday, Tedros said that while he understood "all governments' interest in protecting their people from the delta variant," booster doses should not be distributed until the other countries' most vulnerable people and health care workers are vaccinated.

Does Moderna also plan to develop a booster dose?

As scientists and public health officials continue to study whether those fully vaccinated will need a booster dose, Moderna — along with Pfizer — said it is exploring a third vaccine dose to supplement the first two shots of the vaccine.

Got Johnson & Johnson - Do I Need a Booster Dose?

According to the country's health officials, no fully vaccinated American needs a booster dose yet, including those who got a single dose of the COVID vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. But San Francisco residents who received a single dose of the COVID vaccine from Johnson & Johnson got the green light Tuesday to get a dose of the mRNA vaccine, despite not being recommended by the city's health department.

Grant Colfax, San Francisco health director, said no conclusive evidence that getting a dose of Pfizer or Moderna benefits those who get the J&J injection. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, however, there is no evidence that it is harmful.

"If people get Johnson & Johnson and order a second dose, we'll meet them, but our policy hasn't changed," Colfax said.

San Francisco's decision to legalize Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients who receive the mRNA vaccine comes in light of a small study indicating that the vaccine is not nearly as effective against the delta variant as other vaccines. (Another study suggests that Johnson & Johnson is still in operation, and the drug manufacturer claims the vaccine is effective.)

Will the booster shot be free?

The current single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and the two-dose versions of Moderna and Pfizer are free for everyone who wants to get the vaccine. According to the Biden administration, the COVID-19 booster shots will also be free if approved.

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