Health Agencies Say Fully Vaccinated People Won’t Need COVID Boosters

The Coronavirus has killed more than 4 million people around the world in the year and a half since it was declared a pandemic. The U.S. leads the world with the highest reported death toll, at more than 600,000, followed by Brazil and India. But two major health agencies made a major announcement that should bring some closure to those who have already gotten their vaccines: People who are fully vaccinated do not need Covid-19 boosters, an issue that had been discussed along with the spread of the highly contagious and deadly Delta variant of the virus.

“We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a joint statement. Pfizer said Thursday that it would still seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its vaccine, saying another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity.

[Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images]
The FDA and CDC said those who are vaccinated are protected from variants, including the still-surging Delta variant and newly discovered Lambda variant, with six cases reported in the UK. But they urged Americans 12 and older who have not yet been vaccinated to get their shots. Research shows that two doses of mRNA vaccines offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant. The agencies said they will continue to study vaccines and possible boosters. But they still made one thing about the vaccinations abundantly clear: they work.

“People who are not vaccinated remain at risk. Virtually all Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated,” the statement said.

The CDC also announced on Friday that fully vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear masks inside school buildings, but stopped short of calling for vaccination requirements for teachers and eligible children. The health officials still advise, however, that unvaccinated teachers and students wear masks indoors. These changes come as the US is witnessing a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths despite the new variants.



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