According to reports from NY Times, the officials are planning to officially announce the decision to authorize the booster shots as an additional protection against the highly transmissible Delta variant. This decision goes for both Pfizer and Moderna, whereas the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, which was offered only in March, is proving to be effective against the delta variant, even without a booster.
Reports also claim that the third shot can be offered to those who got two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by the end of January — by late September. Nursing home residents and healthcare workers are most likely to get the shots first. They will be followed by the older people vaccinated last winter. But about 40 percent of the population still don’t even have a first dose, which poses a problem for the Biden administration.
According to Dr. Janis M. Orlowski, chief health officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said hospitals will want data on the effects of the booster shots before vaccinating healthcare workers.
“You can’t do the whole I.C.U. at the same time because you don’t want everyone getting fever and chills,” she said.
Dr. Matthew Harris, the medical director of the coronavirus vaccination program at Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system supports the push for booster shots.
“I think we’re running out of second chances,” he said. “What keeps me up at night is the inevitability of a variant that is not responsive to the vaccine, so if this is how we stay ahead of it, I fully support it.”
Nevertheless, the booster plan will still be subject to scrutiny by an advisory committee on vaccines for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While they review the data on boosters and before the C.D.C. recommends them, the moratorium on booster shots called for by the World Health Organization will remain in place in the US even as some countries have already authorized them for the protection of the vulnerable segments of their population.