Americans aged 16 and above will most likely be offered COVID-19 boosters in the US from next week. While an external panel of advisors to the Food and Drug Administration voted against such a wide coverage on Friday, they were in support of offering a shot for those above 65 years of age.
The analyses of clinical trial data of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE show 90% efficacy against the virus. However, it wanes over time.
This results in people who were vaccinated earlier on in the pandemic being more vulnerable to the breakthrough infections. “Booster doses help restore the waning levels of antibodies produced by the original inoculation,” the drugmakers have said.
According to Pfizer’s clinical trial data, the vaccine's efficacy was reduced by 6% every two months after the second jab. “In a second trial testing booster shots in 300 participants, a third dose generated a better immune response than the second,” according to Pfizer.
Moderna this week said it “found higher rates of breakthrough infection among participants in its clinical trial who received its two-dose vaccine roughly 13 months ago compared with those vaccinated roughly eight months ago.” The research was conducted between July and August.
As per experts, boosters are advisable for older adults and people.
Israel's Health Ministry reported those over the age of 60 and vaccinated were at a much higher risk of severe breakthrough infection than those aged 50-59 and 40-49, despite the latter being vaccinated more than six months ago.
Furthermore, as per studies done in the United States, the vaccines have been reported to be extremely effective in protection against severe diseases and death in those below the age of 65. Many other countries, including the UK, France and Germany, have already offered limited booster plans to older adults and other high-risk groups.