Healthcare

Fauci: We’ll know later this year how often we should be boosted against COVID

Dr. Anthony Fauci sits before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies for a hearing to discuss the President's Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the National Institutes of Health on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden
Dr. Anthony Fauci sits before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies for a hearing to discuss the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the National Institutes of Health on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said Wednesday he thinks it will be known later this year if and how often COVID-19 vaccination boosters should be administered.

During a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the proposed budget for the National Institutes of Health, Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) asked Fauci what he thought the future of coronavirus vaccination looked like.

“Well, it’s very clear right now, if you look at the need for vaccination — I mean, if you look at the hospitalizations and deaths of those who are unvaccinated compared to those who are vaccinated and boosted, the data are stunning. They’re striking, the difference,” Fauci said.

He added that it was “very clear” that a booster is necessary in the “era of omicron,” pointing to the strength of the protection that a third shot offered. However, he acknowledged that protection has been seen to wane over time and said it was currently unclear if annual boosters would be needed due to the new variants that continue to arise.

“I think some time in the middle of the summer we’re gonna know what the cadence is gonna be about how often we’re gonna have to vaccinate people,” said Fauci.

Health authorities have yet to come to a consensus on the necessity of annual coronavirus boosters, with vaccine makers preparing for yearly doses, while many experts remain on the fence.

Fauci himself has repeatedly stated that authorities aren’t sure about the future of COVID-19 boosters. Earlier this year, he said in an interview that young, healthy individuals with no underlying medical conditions may need COVID-19 boosters only every four or five years.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has pushed the possibility that annual coronavirus boosters will be needed going forward, saying administering a dose once a year was preferable to more frequent shots. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel has said that annual booster may be necessary for people who are most at risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Tags Albert Bourla Anthony Fauci Anthony Fauci Coronavirus coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 booster John Moolenaar vaccine booster

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