The nation’s top infectious disease expert says that COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising among people fully vaccinated who have not had booster shots.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said waning immunity from the initial shots is leading to a rise in severe cases among immunized Americans.
‘What we’re starting to see now is an uptick in hospitalizations among people who’ve been vaccinated but not boosted,’ he told NBC News in an interview on Tuesday.
‘It’s a significant proportion, but not the majority by any means.’
It comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews applications from both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for emergency use authorization of their booster shots, and could grant them as soon as this week.
Fauci did not specify during the interview by how much the rate of hospitalizations for fully vaccinated people is increasing.
But he has stressed in the past that he is worried that declining efficacy of vaccines could lead to a new surge in the winter.
Fool me twice…
A recent study from the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California, found that the overall effectiveness of the three Covid vaccines available in the U.S fell from 87 percent in March to 48 percent by September.
The Moderna jab was the most effective, but still fell with the risk of infection being reduced from 89 percent to 58 percent.
The Pfizer shot’s efficacy decline from 87 percent protection to 43 percent and the J&J shot saw a drop from 83 percent to 13 percent.