The Biden administration on Wednesday called for a third Covid-19 shot starting in the fall for Americans who were fully vaccinated with the two-shot regimen, citing the threat from the highly contagious Delta variant and heightened concerns over data showing initial immunity wanes over time.
The announcement on Wednesday means that booster shots will soon be available for the more than 155 million people in the U.S. who have been fully vaccinated with messenger RNA vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE or from Moderna Inc.
The booster shot would be administered about eight months after the second dose of the vaccine. The government said it is preparing to offer booster shots beginning the week of Sept. 20.
“The current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability,” U.S. health authorities said.
Regulators last week cleared booster shots for people with compromised immune systems.
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