September 14, 2021: -On Monday, an expert review of scientific evidence to date has concluded that Covid-19 vaccine booster doses are not necessary at this time for the general public, a group of leading U.S. and international scientists said in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet.
The conclusion by scientists, which includes two senior Food and Drug Administration officials and the World Health Organization, came as studies keep on to show the authorized Covid vaccines in the U.S. remain highly effective against the disease and hospitalization caused by the fast-spreading delta variant.
While the scientists said that the Covid vaccine effectiveness against mild disease might wane over time, protection against severe disease may persist. That’s because the body’s immune system is complex, they said and has other defenses besides antibodies that may protect someone from getting seriously sick.
“Current evidence does not appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against the severe disease remains high,” the scientists wrote, which adds that the wide distribution of boosters is “not appropriate at this stage in the pandemic.”
They acknowledged that booster shots might eventually be necessary for the general population if the vaccine is induced immunity wanes even further or a new variant emerges that can evade the protection of the doses.
They said there are risks to distributing the booster doses too early, which include the potential for side effects like a rare heart inflammation condition known as myocarditis, which is common post the second dose of mRNA vaccines.
“If unnecessary boosting causes significant adverse reactions, there could be implications for vaccine acceptance that go beyond COVID-19 vaccines,” they write.
Shares of Covid vaccine maker BioNTech were down over 5% in intraday trading.
The comments come before a week the Biden administration plans to begin offering Covid vaccine booster doses to the general public. An FDA advisory group is meeting on Friday to discuss the data to support the wide use of boosters.
The administration in the previous month cited three new studies, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that proved the vaccines’ protection against Covid diminished over several months. The plan of administration, outlined by senior health officials, calls for a third dose eight months after people get their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Scientists and other health experts have repeatedly criticized the plan, saying data the federal health officials cited wasn’t compelling, characterizing the administration’s push for boosters as premature.