Dr. Anthony Fauci has responded to concerns about the need for more vaccines to tackle COVID-19 by warning that Americans may “just have to deal with” ongoing booster shots.
Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, said Americans could be facing the prospect of annual, or more, booster shots to fight the coronavirus.
The top health official made the statement on Sunday morning and said that the level of protection that the current coronavirus booster shots give to individuals will have to be monitored closely over the next several months.
“If it becomes necessary to get yet another boost, then we’ll just have to deal with it when that occurs,” Fauci asserted.
He also said that he’s “hoping” that a third mRNA shot will give longer-lasting protection.
“I’m hoping from an immunological standpoint that that third shot of an mRNA and the second shot of a J&J will give a much greater durability of protection than just the six months or so that we’re seeing right now,” Fauci said.
He added that it’s possible that the booster shot could “dramatically” increase the level of protection.
“It’s tough to tell because the third shot of an mRNA could not only do what we absolutely know it does, is it dramatically increased the level of protection,” Fauci said.
“But from an immunological standpoint, it could very well increase the durability of protection by things that you can’t readily measure by the level of antibodies that you might have a maturation of the immune system that would prolong the durability.
Fauci was responding to a question from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asking if Americans should expect yearly booster shots.
For the time being, however, “official requirements” for being fully vaccinated are not changing, he said.
“For official requirements, it’s still two shots of the mRNA and one shot of the J&J for the official determination of what’s required or not.”