Third dose is needed for full protection against Covid-19, says Fauci

With the latest wave of Covid-19 changing American life once again, an official launch of booster shots could begin within weeks, pending authorization from the United States Drug Agency (FDA). And it’s likely that three doses of the vaccine are needed for full protection, said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

He cited two Israel-based studies that showed a decrease in infections among people who received a third dose or booster.

There was good reason to believe that a third dose “will really be durable, and if it is durable then most likely you will have a three dose regimen being the routine regimen,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a meeting on Thursday (2).

Ultimately, it’s up to the US FDA to decide whether Americans should receive three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, Fauci said. The agency is considering the issue later this month, after Moderna and Pfizer requested FDA clearance for a third dose, six or eight months after receiving the second dose.

The recommendation for booster shots will likely lead to availability for a large portion of the population, and shots could begin shipping as early as the week of Sept. 20, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Thursday -fair.

“At some point in the future, we may have a way of telling who needs an extra dose and who doesn’t,” Murthy said in a call presented by the US Covid-19 Community Corps.

“At the moment, we don’t have this indicator, which is why we recommend that not only people be vaccinated in all areas – regardless of whether they have been infected in the past or not – but also with regard to vaccination these extra doses to sustain and extend its protection, which we do broadly,” he said.

Additional doses received emergency use clearance by the FDA this month for those who are immunocompromised.

Although doses are not yet available to the public, local health departments across the country have seen a recent increase in calls from people wanting to make appointments, according to the National Association of Municipal and Municipal Health Departments.

But the emphasis remains on increasing vaccination rates among the US population to help overcome the pandemic. Approximately 52.7% of the total population is fully vaccinated.

But of the ten states with the worst Covid-19 case rates last week, seven of them were also in the top ten vaccination rates, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In states with lower vaccination rates, more children have gone to hospitals, according to a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The survey, published Friday in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Report, found that hospitalizations and emergency room visits for children with Covid-19 increased from June to August.

And in the two-week period from mid to late August, emergency room visits were 3.4 times higher in states with the lowest vaccination rates, while hospitalizations were 3.7 times higher than in states with the lowest vaccination rates. higher vaccination rates. The states with the lowest vaccination coverage are in the southern region.

Schools and Universities Enact Security Measures

Covid-19 prevention measures concern US schools and universities/Eli Hartman/AP

The risk of spreading Covid-19 in schools and universities remains critical, and recent research demonstrates how maskless behavior among the unvaccinated can lead to outbreaks.

A study published on Thursday described an outbreak of Covid-19 among more than 150 students at a Chicago university after many unvaccinated students traveled during mid-year vacations, despite university policies that discouraged it.

To prevent similar outbreaks, some universities have instituted mandates to attend classes in person.

Virginia Tech University canceled the enrollment of 134 students for failing to meet the requirement that they be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and “did not submit vaccination documentation or receive medical or religious exemption,” according to a statement on Monday (30).

The University of Virginia has also canceled the enrollment of more than 200 students for not fulfilling their vaccination mandate, according to a statement last month.

Vaccination in adolescents and adults can not only prevent infections in schools, but it can also protect children under 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine.

“Communities with high vaccination coverage are seeing fewer pediatric cases and hospitalizations,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Along with vaccination, the use of a mask is also beneficial in containing the spread of Covid-19, evidence shows.

New York State will require the weekly Covid-19 test for teachers and other school staff, excluding those who are vaccinated, and will continue to mandate mandatory mask use for all, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday.

In Florida, districts can enforce a mask requirement after a judge signs a written order. On Thursday he spoke out against Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ban on such measures in schools. DeSantis said he will appeal.

New Mu variant under observation

Coronaviruses;  Covid-19
Coronavirus Mu variant is not a concern, says Fauci / Getty Images

A new variant of the coronavirus designated as Mu by the World Health Organization (WHO) is being monitored as a “variant of interest,” but federal health officials say they don’t immediately consider it dangerous.

On Tuesday, the WHO designated the B.1,621 variant as a “variant of interest” because it carries mutations that could help it partially avoid vaccines and treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies. WHO named it Mu in their system to designate important variants using the Greek alphabet.

“This variant has a constellation of mutations that suggests it would escape certain antibodies,” said Fauci. “Not just monoclonal antibodies, but vaccines and antibodies induced by convalescent serum. But there isn’t a lot of clinical data to suggest that – it’s mostly laboratory data, in vitro.”

“Not to underestimate – we take this very seriously. But remember, even when you have variants that diminish the effectiveness of vaccines a little bit, they are still effective against such variants. In short, we are paying attention. We take everything seriously. But we don’t consider this an immediate threat at the moment,” continued Fauci.

The Delta variant still accounts for more than 99 percent of Covid-19 cases diagnosed and sequenced in the US, Walensky said on Thursday, while Mu is rare.
“We are watching carefully”, he concluded.

(Text translated from English. Check the original here)