Pfizer said Thursday it is seeing waning immunity from its coronavirus vaccine and a booster shot may be needed to protect people from new variants of the virus. However, the two top federal agencies disagree.
In a rather unusual move, the FDA and Centers for Disease and Control both said in a statement and said Americans do not need booster shots yet.
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time,” they said.
That statement comes just hours after the drug company said people’s immunity starts to wane after they have been vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to provide full immunity.
“As seen in real world data released from the Israel Ministry of Health, vaccine efficacy in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease has declined six months post-vaccination, although efficacy in preventing serious illnesses remains high,” Pfizer said in a statement.
“While protection against severe disease remained high across the full six months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of variants are expected. Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial within 6 to 12 months following the second dose to maintain highest levels of protection.”
Government officials have repeatedly said that fully vaccinated people have a low risk of infection, even from the Delta variant.
“The United States is fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available for those aged 12 and up. People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” the statement continued.