3 reasons the White House now recommends COVID boosters starting next month


(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The White House announced Wednesday that boosters would be needed eight months after the second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

While the administration has stressed over the past few weeks that that boosters are not needed at this point, they are now publishing data to show they are needed at a later point.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky pointed to three studies as their reason. They showed that while protection against infection waned over time, protection against hospitalizations and deaths were holding steady.

Vaccine efficacy in health care settings

One study looked at infection among nursing home residents before and during the introduction of the delta variant. It found effectiveness against infection for any vaccine, was 75-percent before delta but dropped to 53-percent when confronted with the variant.

That report stated, “Nursing home residents, who are often elderly and frail, might have a less robust response to vaccines, and are at higher risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2 and for severe COVID-19.”

It’s why the report concluded a third dose should be considered for nursing home and long-term care facility residents.

COVID-19 protection by vaccination status

A second report published by the CDC Wednesday, looked at hospitalizations rates in New York.

The study found that up until early July, the vaccines were 91-percent effective in preventing infection. That changed when the delta variant took over. By late July, protection overall dropped to 80-percent.

Still, the vaccines remained between 92-percent and 95-percent effective in preventing hospitalization.

Vaccine efficacy against hospitalization

A third study published by the CDC showed researchers looking at the hospitalization rate of vaccinated people infected with COVID-19.

It found among 1,129 patients who got either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, there was no decline in vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization.

It found the vaccines were 86-percent effective against hospitalization two weeks to six months after a second dose. People with compromised immune systems, however had 63-percent protection.

Watch the White House COVID-19 Response Team’s announcement on boosters below:

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