NIH director says COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are ‘not necessary’ right now

The director of the National Institutes of Health says he not believe Americans currently need a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines/ 

Dr Francis Collins, who appeared of CNN’s New Day on Tuesday, said his team assesses the need for a potential third shots ‘every day’ but that evidence suggests the current crop of vaccines protect against the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.

‘At the present time, though, the data in the United States does not indicate that that’s necessary,’ he said.  

His statements come as other countries like Germany and Israel have announced plans to offer booster doses to priority people.

Dr Francis Collins (pictured), director of the NIH, told CNN's New Day that after reviewing the data, he does not believe a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary at this time

Dr Francis Collins (pictured), director of the NIH, told CNN’s New Day that after reviewing the data, he does not believe a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary at this time

Despite insisting there is no evidence Americans need boosters shots now, Collins did leave the door open for the use of boosters in the future.

‘If we change that based upon the concerns about whether immunity wanes over time, then we’re prepared to start offering boosters particularly to high-risk individuals,’ he told New Day.

‘But right now, looking at that data, we’re not quite there, so people should be pretty reassured.’

Israel began offering the third dose at the start of August.

Anyone aged 60 years or older, a transplant recipient, or who has a qualifying comorbidity that puts them at high risk from the virus, can get the shot.

The Middle Eastern country suffered from an outbreak of breakthrough cases from the Delta variant early in July. 

Many of those hospitalized at the time were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as well. 

Since then, Israeli health officials have reviewed data, and decided to go forward with the third shot.

In Germany, people with high-risk comorbidities and the elderly populations will be eligible for the booster shot starting in September.   

The topic of a third dose in America has long been discussed, but health officials have not given a consistent answer on whether or not they will be needed. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said in the past that he expects a third dose to be needed in the coming months.

Though, he said last month that he does not expect booster shots to be needed for the fully vaccinated at this time.

Fauci said last week, though, that those who are vulnerable to the virus even after vaccination still may require a third dose.

Speculations about third doses also began after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data showing vaccinated people can transmit the Delta variant just as easily as unvaccinated people. 

Pfizer, whose vaccine is the most common in the U,S,, published data last week showing their vaccine drops in efficacy from 96 percent to 84 percent six months after receiving the second dose.

The company published data last week that showed one of their booster shots in clinical trials could especially be effective against the Delta variant.

The New York based company also revealed they are working on a Delta variant specific vaccine. 

Pfizer will soon seek approval for a third dose of their vaccine in America. 

Moderna has also launched a trial for the third shot of its COVID vaccine, and initial data is also promising that it can combat virus variants. 

COVID-19 cases have been spiking in recent weeks, especially among the unvaccinated, as the United States suffers from a fourth wave of the virus. 

On Monday, officials recorded 127,976 new COVID-19 cases with a seven-day rolling average of 85,459, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

This is a 266 percent increase from the 23,291 average recorded three weeks ago,   

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