As illnesses from the delta variant rise, the Biden administration stated last week that it planned to make Covid-19 vaccine Booster doses widely available beginning September 20, citing studies indicating that vaccination protection diminishes over time. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Americans who completed their original two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccinations at least eight months ago are eligible for a third injection.
The news coincided with the publication of an Israeli study finding that Booster shots greatly reduce transmission among those aged 60 and up. Americans who received the two-dose immunizations will receive initial Booster doses, but US health officials expect that others who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson injection will also require Booster. The statement by the United States comes less than a month after Israel became the first country to initiate an official campaign.
The two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, according to a study published in The Lancet last May, which was in line with a study conducted three months earlier by Israeli health maintenance organisation Maccabi Healthcare Services. However, the vaccines’ effectiveness appears to have diminished with time, and instances were once again on the rise by the beginning of July. The Ministry of Health said on July 5 that an epidemiological analysis had revealed that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing infection had plummeted to 64%.