The United States plans to re-vaccinate nursing home elderly and health care workers with a new dose this fall, while scientists still debate the relevance of the booster shot. has reported this Saturday the newspaper The New York Times, citing sources in the Joe Biden Administration. The timetable has not yet been established, but it is estimated that the campaign could start in October. The first beneficiaries, to which a population belonging to vulnerable groups would be added, would receive an extra dose of the same vaccine that was previously administered to them.
This Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in its English acronym; the federal health authority) recommended an additional dose for immunosuppressed people (oncology, transplant or HIV patients, among other cases) at least 28 days after completing the regimen, given that “[los receptores] they do not always generate adequate levels of protection after receiving a double prick from one of the two messenger RNA vaccines ”, that is, those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. On the 12th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the third dose of Pfizer and Moderna for people with weakened immune systems. The US has a stockpile of at least 100 million doses, which will facilitate supplemental immunization.
The plans of the Democratic Administration will have to overcome practical obstacles, the first of them reaching the inflection point that the delta variant of the coronavirus, dominant in the country, has caused, with hospitals in states such as Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi overflowing with patients, most of them not vaccinated. The fact that the case tracking and notification system is territorially disparate also complicates plans. The average of new cases has exceeded 66% in the last 14 days, while deaths have shot up to 116% in the same period, according to data compiled by the newspaper.
As in many other countries, any debate about the booster dose is suspicious, since, according to officials cited by The New York Times, could be interpreted as a reduction in the effectiveness of the prescribed regimen, with the corresponding signal of distrust for the population, especially when vaccination denial is a very notable phenomenon in the United States. In addition, the fact of considering a third dose when many countries They have not yet started their vaccination campaigns multiplying the risk of new variants that could jump to the United States and circumvent the effectiveness of the vaccines distributed. The World Health Organization has proposed a moratorium on the booster dose until the end of September, to boost vaccination in the countries furthest behind. A request ignored by the European Union when it considers that there is no data that justifies the convenience of a complementary dose, although countries such as France and Germany have announced their intention to reinforce the vaccination of the elderly and other vulnerable groups next month.
The US health authorities closely follow the experience of Israel, which already administers additional doses to the population over 60 years old and two days ago announced that those over 50 will soon also be beneficiaries, the newspaper recalls. For the moment, the UK remains on the lookout, albeit with plans to inoculate the third dose to Britons over 50.