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By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], August 19 (ANI): Booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are set to become available for all adults in America beginning next month, the country's top health officials announced on Wednesday.
"We know that even highly effective vaccines become less effective over time," Dr Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said at a White House briefing. "It is now our clinical judgment that the time to lay out a plan for COVID (vaccine) boosters is now."
It's now "very clear" that immunity starts to fall after the initial two doses, and with the dominance of the delta variant, "we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease," according to the statement signed by CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky, acting FDA Commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock, White House chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci and other US health leaders.
As a result, US agencies are preparing to offer booster shots to all eligible Americans beginning the week of September 20, starting eight months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna Covid vaccines, officials said. While they said recipients of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine will likely need boosters, they are awaiting more data in the next few weeks before making a formal recommendation.
"With those data in hand, we will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J booster shots as well," the officials said.
The plan is subject to a formal recommendation from a CDC vaccine advisory committee and approval from the FDA, also a formality.
Amid the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19, the CDC once again cautioned Americans, asking them to mask up when they enter a building, even if they are vaccinated. (ANI)