3 doses optimal against new strain, says Faucci

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Fauci’s comment on additional dose comes at a time when the rich nations are expanding their booster program for younger people amid fears of Omicron evading vaccine-induced immunity. …reports Asian Lite News

Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci on Sunday said three doses of a vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is the “optimal care” but the government will stick to the official definition of fully vaccinated. Speaking at ABC’s ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos’, Fauci said two doses of mRNA vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, and one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will remain the official requirement to determine fully vaccinated individuals.

“For official requirements, it’s still two shots of the mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) and one shot of the J&J for the official determination of what’s required or not. But I think if you look at the data, the more and more it becomes clear that if you want to be optimally protected you really should get a booster,” the top immunologist said.

Fauci’s comment on additional dose comes at a time when the rich nations are expanding their booster program for younger people amid fears of Omicron evading vaccine-induced immunity. The United States has cleared Pfizer booster dose for 16-17-year-olds and Britain is set to open the bookings for booster shots for all people aged 30 and above from December 13.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a technical briefing that Omicron is more transmissible than the Delta strain and reduces vaccine efficacy. Citing early data on the new variant of concern, the UN health agency, however, stressed that Omicron causes less severe symptoms.

The variant of concern first detected in South Africa last month had spread to 63 countries as of December 9, according to the WHO report. Early evidence suggests Omicron causes “a reduction in vaccine efficacy against infection and transmission”, the WHO said.

The new variant of concern has prompted countries around the world to tighten travel restrictions and review their vaccination policy.

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