Due to the Delta variant’s devastating effects, federal health officials are beginning to fight for the use of COVID-19 booster shots to combat this deadly variant, and others that may come because of it.
Starting with the immunocompromised, Dr. Mark Sawyer, an infectious disease specialist at UC-San Diego and Rady Children’s hospital in San Diego, stated that “a third dose of the vaccine [is] recommended for those who are immunocompromised.”
This dose is especially to help boost those who are immunocompromised because oftentimes, their immune systems do not respond to the vaccine. After the immunocompromised, a real booster for those who have received full vaccinated status via the single dose Johnson & Johnson, or double dose Pfizer or Moderna, will be available.
The purpose of the booster is to help increase immunity levels that could have waned over time. With the Delta variant being highly transmissible, having the highest possible immunity level is becoming increasingly important. Experts are expecting a booster to be available mid to late September.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their guidelines and will be opening eligibility for a booster shot 8 months after their final dose―once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized each vaccine.
The exception to waiting for approval from the FDA are for those who are immunocompromised in any way. Then, those who are the most at risk will be first in line to receive a booster, this includes healthcare professionals, residents of long-term care facilities, and other older adults.
The CDC has also mentioned that those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may have a delay when it comes to receiving a booster. Because their vaccine did not get released until March 2021, research and data collection on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the CDC is still ongoing. With this, they have promised to give updates in the most timely manner possible.