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No. of Recommendations: 3

The U.K., which has inoculated a larger proportion of people than any other major economy, has been forced to delay a planned lifting of coronavirus restrictions amid a resurgence of cases driven by the delta variant. The strain, first reported in India, is the most infectious reported to date.

Covid booster shots are likely to be rolled out in U.K. in the fall to avoid another winter surge. Seven different vaccines are being tested in volunteers in England in the world’s first booster study, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said last month.

The following is apparently true regarding COVID boosters:

1) A third vaccination improves antibody protection, but (especially if mixed brands of vaccines are involved) there is a greater probability of side effects.

2) There is pushback from the WHO against their use until the most vulnerable, world-wide, are vaccinated. “We do not have the information that’s necessary to make the recommendation on whether or not a booster will be needed,” Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said in a Zoom interview Friday. The “science is still evolving.” Such a call is “premature” while high-risk individuals in most of the world haven’t yet completed a first course of vaccination, Swaminathan said.

3) The latest variants, Gamma and especially Delta are somewhat blocked by the existing vaccines (apparently better by Pfizer and Moderna than by other technologies)

4) Immunization with a combination of vaccinations may offer longer immunity or fewer side effects for certain individuals

As a minimum, vaccines will need to protect against hospitalization, ICU admission and death. Boosters might very well be in our future at some point, and they might be here sooner if other variants pop up” that aren’t covered as well by existing vaccines.

CEOs from Moderna and Pfizer — the two major developers of the common COVID-19 vaccines — told Axios that the “booster” shots will be available and necessary by fall 2021.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser on COVID-19, told Axios that the third shot will be needed.

“I think we will almost certainly require a booster sometime within a year or so after getting the primary (shot) because the durability of protection against coronaviruses is generally not lifelong,” Fauci said, according to Axios.

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