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Monday, November 29, 2021

Definition Of Being Fully Vaccinated For Covid-19 Likely To Change

As the number of new Covid-19 cases in the country rose to the highest levels ever, a large number of people are now considering vaccinations seriously, As of Thursday,  based on data from John Hopkins University, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases now stand at 39.4 million with more than 6,42,000 deaths.

Definition Of Being Fully Vaccinated For Covid-19 Likely To Change

The number of fully vaccinated people in America now stands at 174.6 million, roughly 52.6% of the population.

Definition Of Being Fully Vaccinated For Covid-19 Likely To Change

However, based on a briefing by Dr. Athony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Thursday, the definition of being fully vaccinated is likely to change in the coming future. At present getting two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is termed as being fully vaccinated. 

However, based on his estimation, the USA shall authorize the use of a third shot of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine as a booster dose for people of all ages. This shall mean that the definition for getting fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus shall be three doses at least for the mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

For the J&J vaccine, the data for the booster shot is still being generated and analyzed and the need for a booster shot is still not determined. However, preliminary data released on clinical trials by J&J indicate that a booster shot of the vaccine is going to be beneficial.

This requirement of a booster shot of the mRNA vaccine shall have implications for businesses, schools, offices that have full vaccination mandates. The White House is planning to provide booster shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for people whose second dose has been administered at least 8 months earlier. 

This implies that the protection offered by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine tends to wane 8 months after the administration of the second dose.  The White House is hopeful that the US FDA shall approve the use of booster shots for people 16+ age group by September 20.

According to Dr. Fauci, based on data observed in countries like Israel where booster doses have been administered to the population and the data from clinical trials of mRNA vaccine manufacturers, the booster dose shows a dramatic reduction of relative risk of both infection and severe disease. 

The risk of infection and severe disease reduces by around 10 times. Based on the positive experience of a booster dose in Israel, even against the delta variant of the Coronavirus, Dr. Fauci suggested that the rationale of the booster dose is quite apt.

In the USA, close to 99% of the Covid-19 cases are due to the delta variant. However, Dr. Fauci also pointed out that new variants of the Coronavirus are emerging from different parts of the world. 

The newest variant to come out is the “mu” variant or the B.1.621 variant of the virus that has been observed in the USA on a small scale. Dr. Fauci suggested that this variant is not an immediate threat but the authorities are taking the spread of this variant very seriously. 

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