3 Covid-19 vaccine doses may now become routine, enhance immunity: Fauci
White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said on Thursday that three doses of the vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) may now become the standard regimen for most people. Fauci’s comments come even as medical experts who advise the US regulators on vaccine doses remain concerned over what they perceive as "political interference" by the Biden administration in the review process of booster shots for Covid-19 vaccines.
Fauci, while speaking to reporters at a White House press briefing, said, "I must say from my own experience as an immunologist, I would not at all be surprised that the adequate full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses."
Notably, the Biden administration is preparing to distribute Covid-19 "booster shots" in the United States from the week beginning on September 20. Senior US officials, in a health plan outlined last month in this regard, pointed out that protection from vaccines against the coronavirus disease may decrease even after taking the second Covid-19 shot if several months have passed since that dose. For this purpose, the federal health authorities cited three new studies released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that affirm their claims.
The new plan aims to make third doses available to Americans eight months after they get their second shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. However, the plan is being critiqued by those who say the White House is getting ahead of US public-health and drug authorities, who still have to give their go-ahead to the plan.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, indicated on Thursday that he was in favour of the three-dose strategy. The top infectious diseases expert said that people taking an additional dose or the final dose of the Covid-19 vaccine months after the initial vaccination process will help make the immune system more 'mature'. He said that the final decision in this regard will rest with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the data is presented to the regulatory body, but he added that it was "reasonable" to believe three doses would be made the standard.
“If it is durable, then you’re going to have very likely a three-dose regimen being the routine regimen,” he said.
In some of Asia’s Covid-19 hot spots, powerful and wealthier citizens are nabbing booster shots even as most people remain unvaccinated, undermining the inoculation strategies of nations struggling with the highly infectious Delta variant.