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Dr Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that Americans will probably need a Covid-19 booster shot “within a year or so” as Americans continue to receive vaccinations across the country.
The booster may be needed because the durability of protection against the virus is “generally not lifelong”, the chief medical adviser to the president told Axios during a virtual event.
On Tuesday, the director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Dr Peter Marks, also said Covid-19 booster shots, similar to the flu shot, could be needed for fully vaccinated people within a year.
Vaccine makers have shown so far that their shots offer strong protection for at least six months, and US health agencies are tracking the impact of new variants on Covid-19 vaccine development.
During the interview, Fauci also clarified the new federal guidance on mask-wearing, stating that Americans were “misinterpreting” the announcement.
“I think people are misinterpreting, thinking that this is a removal of a mask mandate for everyone. It’s not,” Fauci told Axios’s Mike Allen. “It’s an assurance to those who are vaccinated that they can feel safe, be they outdoors or indoors.”
According to Fauci, the mandate “did not explicitly say that unvaccinated people should abandon their masks”.
The mask guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday said fully vaccinated people did not need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors with the exception of healthcare settings, homeless shelters, prison and jails and on public transportation.
While some are feeling a sense of freedom after 15 months of face coverings, others have met the guidance with confusion and skepticism. The agency’s announcement prompted major retailers, including Walmart and Starbucks, to lift mask mandates, and some states, including California, will keep their mask orders in place for another month.
At least 37% of Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Fauci says he expects US vaccine boosters ‘within a year or so’ | Coronavirus