COVID-19: Pfizer Booster Shots set for release on September 20th
Pfizer’s booster shot could be ready by September 20th 2021, in line with the previous deadline set by the White House. The FDA is meeting on September 17 to discuss Pfizer’s booster shot. However, White House medical adviser, Anthony Fauci stated that “Moderna’s third shot might not be ready by then.”
A booster from Johnson and Johnson would likely come later since the initial one dose vaccine didn’t roll out until 70 days after the other two vaccines.
Fauci went further to state that “one of the reasons that we believe that the boost works is that you give the immune response of the second shot enough time to mature and make it ready so that when you give a boost that really jacks up the response a lot. So you would not want to make it too soon.”
Getting Nigerians to receive full doses of COVID-19 vaccines proved to be a challenge. As of early September 2021, only about 27.6% of Nigerians have received full doses of Covid-19 vaccines according to Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
Vaccination rates in other countries, especially in poorer regions of the world remain much lower. The World Health Organization (WHO) wants western countries like the United States to slow down with its roll out of booster shots.
Before the Delta Variant, life globally was getting pretty close to normal after the covid19 pandemic; now, not so much. The Delta variant over time has caused one company after another to scrap the return to work plans in most parts of the world. Lately, it has also been eating into the current economic recovery. In a nutshell, it seems there’s another COVID winter coming, and no one is quite sure of what to expect.
No vaccine has ever been 100% effective. The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna came close. Both vaccines surprised everyone with how effective they were both in the mid-90th percentiles. That’s against the initial strain of the Coronavirus. However, against the Delta variant, the efficacy dropped. One study showed that the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against the Delta variant. Based on the latest data, that means a fully vaccinated person has a very small chance of getting infected by the Delta variant; and when they do, they are still much more likely to avoid getting seriously sick or hospitalized.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their report recommended that people with compromised immune systems should get a third shot (booster shot) of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least 28 days after their second dose.
In the United States however, the White House has new plans to fight COVID-19. The White House intends to do the following plus a whole lot more as the opportunities present themselves and subsequently transmit these mechanisms to the rest of the world.
First, it wants to require all businesses that employ more than 100 workers to make sure their employees get vaccinated or at least get tested weekly.
It also wants all federal workers to get vaccinated along with millions of contractors that work with the federal government. It’s also calling on all states to have every school employee vaccinated.
The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden in a press briefing stated that “we are at a critical time, we have the tools. Now we just have to finish the job with truth, with science and with confidence.”
He further stated that “while America is much better shaped than it previously was seven months ago, when I took office, a tough fact however remains that the world is in a tough stretch, and it could last for a while.”
Are we going to need boosters every year indefinitely? Fauci in an interview stated that “I don’t think we can say that. I doubt it very seriously. However, I believe that the booster shot is the next phase, and like everything else we do, we are going to prejudge and pre worry and get concerned about it. But if we just let things take its course and see its progress with changes into the fourth quarter, my guess is that there would be a requirement for the third (booster) shot.
Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School stated that the only way that we can get a hold of the virus or control it is if companies/employers get in the mix and begin to mandate the vaccines, especially now that the Pfizer one has been fully approved by the FDA. This is important especially as we think about the full return to work policies. Employers need to make sure that everyone feels safe and the assurances can only come if we have high rates of the vaccinated employees.