Americans who have received their full COVID-19 vaccination
do not require a booster shot at this time, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The announcement comes just hours after Pfizer
announced plans to seek approval to administer a third dose of its coronavirus vaccine
across the country, citing an increase in more transmissible coronavirus variants. The company, along with vaccine co-developer BioNTech
, stated that a third injection
could significantly “boost” the antibodies that protect vaccinated people against COVID-19.
The FDA and CDC
, on the other hand, have stated that those who have been fully vaccinated are currently well protected against COVID-19 and its variants, and that all of the vaccines
available in the United States
provide significant protection against the coronavirus, including the emerging delta strain.
“People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe diseases and death
, including from variants currently circulating in the country, such as Delta,” the agencies said in a joint statement. “People who are not vaccinated remain at risk; nearly all COVID-19 deaths occur among the unvaccinated.”
“At this time, Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not require a booster shot,” they added, adding that researchers are testing to see if a booster is needed in the future.
“We are ready to give booster doses if and when the science
shows that they are necessary.”
Pfizer and BioNTech also announced on Thursday that they will begin developing
a COVID-19 vaccine
targeting the delta variant
, with clinical trials expected to begin next month.
officials have continued to urge Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially since the delta strain of the coronavirus is now estimated to be the dominant variant in the United States. Concern is especially focused on states with lower vaccination rates, which have seen an increase in the number of new infections due to the delta variant's high transmissibility.
“What keeps me awake at night? Knowing preliminary data from some U.S. states suggests 99.5% of #COVID19 deaths were in unvaccinated ppl,” Dr. Rochelle Waleknsky, director of the CDC, tweeted Thursday. “Unnecessary death, unneeded suffering from being unvaccinated. Those deaths, that pain, are preventable. Get vaccinated.”
What keeps me awake at night? Knowing that preliminary data from some US states suggests 99.5% of #COVID19 deaths were in unvaccinated people. Unnecessary death, unnecessary suffering from being unvaccinated. Those deaths, that pain, are preventable. Get vaccinated: https://t.co/bfOV5VzBpq. https://t.co/jsYzosg6Jc
Other variants of interest have already been reported in the US, including reports of the gamma strain in Washington state
and the lambda strain, which has spread widely in South America.