The head of the National Institutes of Health said on Monday that there was no reason to believe at this point that Americans will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I would say that at this time, there is no evidence that we need to move forward with boosters in the United States, but that is an ongoing debate,” NIH director said. , Dr. Francis Collins. said on ABC’s “Good Morning America”.
“Let me just be clear, however, that in fact existing approved vaccines in the United States, Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, have great efficacy against [the] Delta [variant]. There’s no reason to rush a recall decision right now, but we’ll be looking at this day in and day out.
Collins said U.S. health officials are continuing to review studies on giving boosters, including from Israel, where the country offers third doses to people aged 60 and older.
When asked what was the “wrong with moving forward” with the recalls, Collins noted that there are currently vaccine shortages in other countries.
“If the United States, with its large population, decides that we need a whole different group of vaccines for our country, that means they can’t go anywhere else,” he said.
“We will if that is what is necessary to protect Americans. At present, however, the data does not convince us that it is time to move forward.
Pfizer released booster injection data last week that found that a third dose of its vaccine could increase antibody levels against the highly contagious Delta variant by more than five times in people aged 18 to 55. years.
The drugmaker met with federal health officials earlier this month to discuss the potential need for a vaccine booster as it prepares to seek clearance for one.
The recall debate comes as U.S. health officials announced Monday that 70% of Americans have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The milestone came nearly a month after the country missed President Biden’s deadline for reaching that threshold.
White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar said at least 468,000 doses were given as of Monday, including 320,000 people who received their first injection.
“Let’s continue to work to vaccinate more eligible people! Shahpar wrote on Twitter.