As Delta and other variants take hold in the U.S. and even the fully vaccinated don’t seem to be totally safe, some of us are starting to wonder about those boosters. Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that some individuals — mostly those who are immunocompromised — may need COVID-19 booster vaccines sooner rather than later. And unlike so many other instances during the pandemic, it seems like the U.S. may be relatively prepared.
Talk of boosters isn’t exactly surprising, even if it’s coming a little sooner than we may have initially expected. Most experts have been telling us for a while that we would all probably need to top up our vaccine juice to keep our immunity to COVID-19 strong. So, it’s not exactly shocking that those with weakener immune systems would be the first to need a third jab.
Who should expect to line up first? According to Fauci, “those who are transplant patients, cancer chemotherapy, auto-immune diseases, that are on immunosuppressant regimens,” are the people most vulnerable and therefore the most likely to need a booster soon, reported Gizmodo.
If you’re still recovering from the chaos of the first vaccine rollout and fear the possibility of another round of vaccine delays and shortages, (and I say this from a very optimistic place) know that it might not be as bad this time around. The Biden administration has already purchased 200 million vaccine doses from Pfizer. The deal went down last Friday, and includes 65 million doses for children under 12 and the option to buy an updated version of the vaccine that targets mutations, according to Reuters. Since the U.S. government bought 200 doses from Moderna in June, we should be pretty stocked up.
But, as you might have heard, the vax isn’t actually approved for children under 12 yet and Pfizer’s third shot is still in the works. So, yes, the government did pre-pay for Pfizer vaxxes we can’t use right this second. But if we all need boosters, that may turn out to be really good news.
Emergency authorization for the original Pfizer vaccine for children under 12 should come around mid-winter, reported NBC. Although most experts don’t believe that children are responsible for the bulk of COVID-19 transmission, they can get sick. And at this point, it seems prudent to get as many people vaccinated as possible in order to contain the surge as much as possible. Pfizer recently announced that it plans to seek regulatory clearance for a booster within weeks.
Look, I know the C.D.C.’s official stance is still that no one needs a booster yet, but we might as well get prepared for this inevitability. Frankly, I’ll be thrilled to roll up my sleeve for anything that could help protect us from the needless deaths caused by Delta, other variants, and (sigh) unvaccinated people.