Scientists are raising serious questions about the wisdom of the push for Covid-19 boosters unveiled on Wednesday by President Joe Biden. It’ll be hard to judge whether extra shots for the vaccinated will be helpful or counterproductive until more of the data behind the decision become available.
The fully vaccinated have been told to resume wearing masks indoors. Companies and institutions are leveling vaccine mandates. And some municipalities are requiring people to show proof of vaccination to get into restaurants, bars, and gyms. Confusion abounds about what is safe to do. (For the unvaccinated, there’s no confusion about what’s most important to do: Get immunized.)
That future may be hard to imagine with intensive-care units filling up yet again during this Delta surge. But the pandemic will end. One way or another, it will end. The current spikes in cases and deaths are the result of a novel coronavirus meeting naive immune systems.
Tensions are high right now. As the delta variant spreads like wildfire across the U.S., vaccination rates are still low in many places and parents and school staff are anxiously wondering what will happen as schools start up again. Should there be more mask mandates? Will businesses have to close again? Will big gatherings be banned?
Biden administration officials say the federal government is thinking about offering boosters to people starting about eight months after they’ve been fully vaccinated. But is it too soon to start talking about boosters for the general public?
Biden administration health officials are expected to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received the second shot, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to USA TODAY.
A few countries are also beginning to offer a third booster dose to their citizens based on evidence that the initial protection from vaccines wanes over time, or that an extra shot may help prevent infection against Delta, particularly for older people or those with weak immune systems.