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Fully Vaccinated Do Not Need Booster For Delta Variant, CDC And FDA Say

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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Fully vaccinated Americans do not need to receive a booster shot to protect against the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration said in a press release. 

“People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” a joint statement said on Thursday.

Unvaccinated Americans remain most at risk to variants such as Delta, and are still encouraged to get immunized, according to the statement. (RELATED: FDA Advisor Who Resigned Sounds Off On Agency’s Work In Last 6 Months)

“FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary,” the statement said. 

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Thursday that they are developing a vaccine booster that would fight against the Delta variant.

“The Pfizer vaccine is highly active against the Delta variant,” Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer, Mikael Dolsten, said in an interview, according to ReutersAfter six months, “there likely is the risk of reinfection as antibodies, as predicted, wane,” Dolsten added.

Results from the Pfizer and BioNTech initial Delta booster trial suggest that a third shot administered six months after the second shot would add enough antibodies to fight both the original strain of COVID-19 and the new Delta variant, according to NPR

Pfizer said that they had seen growing evidence that people’s immunity weakens after six months, specifically in Israel, according to CNN.

Pfizer’s announcement came days after Israel reported that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing the infection and disease had dropped 64%, according to Reuters.

“As seen in real-world data released from the Ministry of Health, vaccine efficacy in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease has declined six months post-vaccination, although efficacy in preventing serious illnesses remains high,” Pfizer said in an email to CNN.

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