Biden: We’re considering recommending booster shots at 5 months like Israel

Biden Welcomes PM Bennett of Israel to the Oval Office
President Biden met with the new Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, in the White House on Friday. We’ve been hearing a lot about how Israel has been handling the coronavirus surge, particularly since they were the first country to get most of their people vaccinated. Israel instituted boosters five months after people received their second shot. The US now has booster shots available to immunocompromised people and has announced that they will become available to the general public starting September 20 and given eight months after their second vaccination. (So far the boosters are for people who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, with decisions still pending on Johnson and Johnson.) In their press release this July announcing they would seek FDA approval for boosters, Pfizer recommended that they be given six months after the last dose, when immunity waned. I mention all that because Biden told Bennett that they’re considering whether to recommend boosters at five months, as Israel has done. He even said he’d spoken to Dr. Fauci about that. Here’s more:

President Joe Biden said U.S. regulators are looking at administering Covid-19 booster shots five months after people finish their primary immunizations, moving up the expected timetable for a third shot by about three months.

Biden, who was speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday, said health officials were considering following that country’s lead on boosters.

“We’re considering the advice you’ve given that we should start earlier,” Biden said, adding that officials are debating whether the timeline should be shorter. “Should it be as little as five months, and that’s being discussed.”

Approval of the booster shots is expected to come sometime around Labor Day after federal health officials have time to review data from other countries.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins last week said data released by Israel on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines over time was prompting U.S. health leaders to rethink their position on vaccine booster shots. Israel released new data on Aug. 16 showing a reduction in the effectiveness of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine against severe illness among people 65 and older who were fully vaccinated in January or February.

Israel released more data Sunday showing a booster dose provided four times as much protection against infection from the delta variant than the previous two-dose regimen in people 60 and older, Reuters reported, citing data from the Ministry of Health of Israel. The booster dose also provided five to six times more efficacy in preventing hospitalization or serious illness.

About 1.5 million Israel residents have received a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

[From CNBC]

CNET then quoted press secretary Jen Psaki who said that the recommendation is still eight months unless the CDC and FDA change that after reviewing the data. I appreciate that Biden is making this public. Many people have gotten boosters already and I think as long as it’s safe we should be able to get them earlier if needed. If we need boosters at five or six months they should be available if we have the supply in the US. The lack of vaccines in the rest of the world is another story, but we have a surplus here. If boosters are the protection that older and immune compromised people need to not get seriously ill, then they should have access to them. At this point it’s the anti-vaxxers fault that they’re being hospitalized. It’s their fault that the Delta variant has spread to the point where we need boosters too.

As an aside I listened to a podcast called America Dissected which interviewed Dr. Fauci a couple of weeks ago. He talked about how anti-science politicians are exploiting the fact that science changes based on new data. Politicians like Rand Paul use the changing recommendations to sow mistrust in public safety measures. Fauci called it “inexplicable” that masks and vaccinations were being politicized. It is, and we need the CDC to make decisions based on the science instead of trying to cater to vaccine deniers. Fauci was diplomatic when he was asked whether the CDC lifted mask requirements prematurely. I hope they do the right thing here and recommend boosters when they’re needed instead of trying to mitigate criticism.

Biden Welcomes PM Bennett of Israel to the Oval Office

President Joe Biden Departs Holy Trinity Catholic Church

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32 Responses to “Biden: We’re considering recommending booster shots at 5 months like Israel”

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  1. (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

    I’m 64, and my dad is almost 94. I’m taking him to get our boosters this Thurs., having had our 2nd dose at the end of Feb. (making it 6 mos for us). If we need another booster in another 5-6 mos. we’ll be getting those, too. We need the WHOLE toolbox to keep this virus/beast at bay, especially when there are *so* many idiots out there that are feeding the beast by not vaxxing/masking.

    I may be thick as a plank, but I truly do NOT understand WHY the GQP is doing this, other than is it *just* for money?? I know one of the BIGGEST GQP donors is the person behind the Regeneron drug, and that the GQP traded on insider info (to buy/sell stock) for a full month before we, the public, were formally told about this virus. What ELSE would cause this doubling, quadrupling down, killing off *their* base mostly, at this point?? I truly just do NOT understand! It can’t just be “owning the lib” as they watch their families get sick/die.

    Is it truly just for fascist power? Part of Putin’s plan to sow discord to demolish Democracy and to an inside takeover??

    • Anne Call says:

      Did you just sign up for booster? I’d like to get our booster also-received our second dose in late February.

      Repubs started freaking out in late spring that everything was going too well for Biden and started this anti vaxx/anti science madness. Now they’ve created a monster and are just hoping that they don’t kill off all their base. Truly grotesque.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        I first asked my pharmacy (which is giving the Moderna (my vax). They said only immunocompromised now, or those with letters from their dr. So I asked my drs. about it. Then I got the letter(s) for us from the dr. which I will take to the pharmacy for their paperwork.

        My dr. did tell me though that some other of his patients have been able to get boosters already w/out a letter, so it may just be MY pharmacy that wants to dot the “i”s and “t”s. Either way, I’m grateful to be able to get it sooner rather than later. I will *still* keep my butt at home as much as possible, and wear my KN95 when going out, into a store (feels safer than the blue surgical disposable mask for that).

        I don’t have a good feeling about this fall.

    • Emma says:

      It is irrational and cruel.

      It does help the GQP in a couple of ways — it again positions them as the only trustworthy authority (rather than the CDC or the elected president) and increases anger and frustration among their base. The GQP benefits from chaos and violence. They don’t benefit if people are happy and safe. Look how they deliberately stoked fear and violence in 2020-21. And they came way too close to keeping the White House and Senate, not despite but because of their violence.

      Also, I don’t like to even suggest this, but they probably made a cold hard calculation that they can still win with gerrymandering and racism even if they lose a certain percentage of their voters. The electoral deck is stacked in their favor and they know it. They consider human lives expendable — just look at how quickly they wage war.

      This ties in to fundamentalist Christianity too, the idea that believing in eternal life negates any suffering or death here on earth, even the idea that suffering and death are holy. (My mom’s attitude.) The leadership aren’t martyrs but they expect others to be.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        I do agree with you, Emma, with their manipulation of neighborhoods, dismantling voters’ rights bills/laws, they DO know the ONLY way they will/can will is by cheating.

        What does baffle me is that their red base states are among the poorest, underserved populaces, and they keep re-electing these bastards who do everything they can to *keep* them poor and uneducated. They voted AGAINST stimulus checks for their constituents, and these same voters will STILL vote for them again! It *can’t* just* be* stupidity…. can it???

      • AMA1977 says:

        I’m badly paraphrasing LBJ here, but it’s all about convincing the working class/poor whites that they are “better than” someone else. At the time LBJ said it, it was about pitting working class/poor white people against Black people. Now it’s sowing mistrust in education and public institutions. They’ve convinced their largely undereducated, poor, resentful base that the crux of their problems is the “elites” and immigrants/minority populations, and they keep them stirred up with fear, cruelty, anger, and shallow displays of false patriotism. They will vote against things that could help their communities (clean energy initiatives, increased Medicaid enrollment, educational spending, increased nutritional supplementation spending, and on and on) because the Republican party has them convinced that those things are too expensive and would benefit the “others” they fear.

        They believe in these ridiculous conspiracy theories because it makes them feel smarter than those of us who are well-informed, get our news from legacy sources, and believe in public health officials. And meanwhile, the Republicans give trillions to the top 1% and sell out our military (again, largely comprised of the children of red voters) to give war profiteers more money. It’s disgusting, but they are stuck in an echo chamber and can’t see it. There is a reason they consider universities “librul indoctrination centers” and it’s because when you become educated, you understand the nuances of our society and begin to question the bullsh!t peddled by the Republicans and their media enablers.

        Sorry that was so long. I have things to say. 😂

  2. S says:

    Well, I got booster dose two days ago (Pfizer), so did my family. Better safe than sorry, I guess. I’m from Serbia, btw, so anyone can walk in and get any vaccine they want.

    • Meghan says:

      Did you have any side effects from the booster? Not that it would stop me, but my 2nd Pfizer dose kicked my butt for 24 hours so I’m just curious and would like to be prepared if it happens again for the booster.

      I am oddly also suffering from the weird effect of feeling like I am breathing in cigarette smoke all the time. Probably due to the sinus infection I had in late July because to my knowledge I have not had Covid or if I did it was in March 2020. But this sensation sucks and I’m ready for it to go away!

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        I was laid out for 3 days with Moderna (2nd shot). Achy and slept for almost 3 days; some brain fog for another day… day 4 I woke up perfectly fine.

        I’m “planning” on the same happening (making sure I have someone around to take care of my dad), and if I don’t get the same symptoms, it’ll just be a happy cherry on top of my relief Sundae 😊

  3. Snuffles says:

    I want to get mine at 6 months. Which puts me at October. I would prefer to get boosted before the holidays so I can feel comfortable around family.

  4. Emma says:

    I believe it is due to the variants. Just as we need a new flu shot annually. The vaccine is highly effective.

    The comment I was responding to has been deleted.

  5. Anne Call says:

    Got fully vaccinated in January and February and would love to get the booster shot ASAP especially after seeing that data from Israel. I did hear about someone signing up for a booster at the local cvs in Santa Barbara and getting it with no questions asked about being immune compromised. She was 75, so pharmacist probably ok with giving it to her age group.

  6. ML says:

    I respectfully wholeheartedly disagree with Biden here! I’m an Expat living in the NLs and they’ve done research from June 26th to halfway through August. The vaccines (AstraZeneca, J&J, Moderna and Pfizer are/have been) used here. All of the vaccines are almost to as effective at keeping people out of the hospital and from dying with the Delta variant as they were with the original. Of the 4.6% of the completely vaccinated population in the NL that wound up in the hospital, they all had some underlying conditions or were above the age of 70. A booster shot is not necessary for anyone healthy or young at this point. There are so many people who need to be immunized in the world, and it sucks that pharmaceutical companies are rolling out booster shots for the masses.

    • faithmobile says:

      I agree, the booster shots should be for the immune compromised only. But and it’s a BUT-the US has such are large supply that is going unused because of our stupid population that I don’t mind using a dose an antivaxxer refused. The Israeli study is flawed in that the comparative sample bodies were different enough to not be conclusive evidence of waning immunity. So while I don’t think we know definitely if our immunity has waned i’m not taking any chances with Delta variant and the dumbasses that are spreading it with their risky behavior.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      @ML have you done a thorough review of the mid-term follow up data out past 6 months, especially with regard to the delta and lambda variants & the issues with the low vaccination rate in red states, to “know” that the discussion for boosters at 5 or 8 months are unnecessary for adults in generally good health? While we do need to prioritize those at higher risk and vaccine distribution to countries that are struggling to keep up with demand but it would be myopic to ignore the issues here in the US which will likely make us a threat to the rest of the world since the GQP is hell-bent & determined to make us the breeding ground for nastier mutations

      • ML says:

        Hey, most of my family is in the US, so I know a lot of what’s going on there and much of it isn’t pretty. My brother lives in GA and has been chewed out for wearing a mask. It was easy for him to get vaxxed, because so many people where he lives don’t want it. My parents are in the Northeast, thank goodness! But I have relatives scattered throughout the US, and it depends on where they are on how safe things are for them. I know it’s infuriating and scary for a lot of you in the US, and that you’re doing your best to keep yourself and others safe. I haven’t visited my parents since 2019 and I’m scared to because they’re old and my dad is immunocompromised.
        That said, and to be clear I am not against the elderly and vulnerable getting boosters!! That said, here in Europe, various countries have noticed that even with high positive rates of corona, if a high chunk of the population has been vaxxed, those people are barely landing in the hospital at the moment. Most hospitalizations are unvaxxed or incompletely vaxxed. The people who are vaxxed and in the hospital are immunocompromised, have underlying conditions, are very old… but next to no “healthy” people are getting in. This is also true in Germany and Great Britain. If you’re healthy and get booster shots from vaccines that would otherwise be tossed, I have no real issue with that. However, Australia, South Korea, Japan… lots of fairly wealthy nations are struggling to vax right now. And even worse, many poorer nations are way behind. If you give out booster, they’re going to be given to people who have already been vaxxed. The idiots (like my aunt and cousin in TX) who aren’t getting tbe shot won’t get the booster either.

  7. Case says:

    Well I’m at five months right now. Seriously wondering if I should just go to a pharmacy and get it before there’s a mad rush. Seems like there’s plenty of surplus for anyone who wants one to get it.

    • Jennifer says:

      I want to, but I’m sure my job is going to want my 3rd shot documented as well and if I do anything hinky or cheat-y…. sigh.

  8. minx says:

    Past five months here.

  9. Kynesgrove89 says:

    My husband is a physician and has a more cautious approach to this pandemic. He agrees with masking and loves the vaccine. He’s not a big fan of locking down completely. Something about the way germs will mutate if left isolated. Science talk that was way beyond me.

    Anyway, he agreed after researching actual scientific articles that a booster will most likely be needed. If we want to get to normal.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I’d agree with him if he had much better compliance with vaccination and masking but the folks who aren’t vaccinated are also bot so great at masking so they increase not only the spread which increases the risk of mutation and ends up increasing the spread of of those mutations. Of course, as the mutations make it more infectious & easier to spread, it’s likely to make it more deadly, the loss of labor and negative impact to supply chain will lead to issues even in parts of the country where the population hasn’t been decimated by COVID infection directly. We’re seeing issues with supply chain already from decreased manufacturing waiting for source material to be able to produce products to transportation delays of both the source materials to make things as well as delays in delivery of things after manufacture. On the bright side, it will force communities to look towards buying local (especially food) but it’s going to be a hell of a transition – especially with the elite class increasing their own control, decreasing protections for common folks and a ton of poverty (which, to be honest, is why the GOP has done everything they can do to exacerbate the pandemic instead of mitigating it from the get go)

      • RoyalGirz says:

        Pottymouth, I wanted to mention that viruses generally mutate to become more infectious and less deadly. I work in an immunology lab and I get frustrated when people freak out when scientists start talking about viruses mutating. If all viruses became more deadly they would kill all of their hosts before they could spread the bug around. So the majority of the time viruses will get less dangerous and more infectious to stay circulating around. Like the common cold viruses (which approx 30% are Covid bugs). So don’t necessarily get scared when you see more variants coming out.

        As to boosters, I think they aren’t necessary in the healthy individual. Follow the money!

    • jwoolman says:

      If the virus had really been left alone to mutate, we wouldn’t be having this discussion because we would be done with it.

      What lets the virus mutate (which it will do spontaneously, regardless of what we do or don’t do, the odds of it happening simply increase as the amount of virus floating around increases) is not containing the spread by public health precautions and vaccinations. That’s what is toasting us extra crispy. We have let the virus freely spread for too long and that just increases the chances of a spontaneous mutation.

      Boosters are needed either if a variant pops up that is not covered by the vaccine (the spike protein would need to be much different for that) or the person vaccinated does not have a strong enough immune system to respond well enough to training by the vaccine for a long enough time.

      There is some concern about the immune memory being shorter for everyone as well, but that doesn’t seem to be a major problem for most at the moment. Spot antibody testing at intervals can give some
      Indication of how long we can expect the vaccine to be protective. It does not prevent exposure to the virus, but just speeds up immune response when the little devil comes your way, by training the immune system with the spike protein the little devil uses to penetrate our cells and start duplicating its evil little self. This keeps the viral load down and that means less severe illness and damage and hopefully less transmission.

      The messenger RNA (mRNA) actually injected as the vaccine is the template for synthesis of that spike protein. The mRNA vanishes pretty quickly inside the cells after doing their job as a template and the synthesized spike proteins don’t last too long either, but long enough to challenge the immune system (“see this little guy? next time you see him, get your butt in gear pronto!!! All hands on deck!!!”).

      So the booster is not needed unless you have reason to believe that your particular immune system needs it in order to recognize the virus quickly. People who are seriously immunocompromised are in a real difficulty, because their system simply does not raise many antibodies at all to the vaccine’s challenge spike protein or else loses the memory quickly.

      The T-cells are also involved in immune memory, for example, but I don’t know if that component of the immune system is seriously being tested and researched for this pandemic. Testing seems limited to antibodies as far as I know, which can be counted and are specific for the viral spike protein if due just to the vaccine. Things change so rapidly in this area, I could be wrong about that. We knew quite a while ago that the virus can actually penetrate the T-cells (bad news, makes them nonfunctional as far as their role in the immune system is concerned) but can’t replicate itself inside the T-cells (good news). Haven’t followed any further research on it lately.

      • ML says:

        Jwoolman, thank you for your well-written, well explained answer!
        I looked up the Israeli data that I could find in various languages: Essentially what the data says is that if your 60+ years old and have comorbidities and it’s been 6+ months since you’ve been fully immunized, then you’re at a higher risk of winding up in the hospital from the corona virus. If you’ve been fully immunized, are younger than 60 yrs old and are healthy, then you’re risk of covid complications is next to nothing. This cannot be the argument for administrating mass booster shots everybody (to be clear, seniors and vulnerable should have access)??

  10. Tiffany says:

    My second dose was in February.

    Sept 20 cannot get here fast enough.

  11. ME says:

    Isn’t the Israeli research a bit early though? Of course you will have a huge amount of anti-bodies right after getting the shot. How about 6 months after the booster? It will be interesting to see.

  12. Moo says:

    My husband is a pharmacist in an independent pharmacy.The pharmacy gives all 3 vaccines & both Covid tests. I believe since they are paid to administer the shot (the vaccines are free) there might be issues with being able to get a booster without government guidelines in place.( BTW,all left over vaccines are thrown away at the end of the day, because the time limit after being taken out of the appropriate storage refrigerator/ freezer,has expired.)
    I would rather see them go into arms as boosters……

  13. AmelieOriginal says:

    I’m entering month 5 post-vaccination. I have my physical in October (when it’ll be 6 months for me) and since they always offer me my flu shot, I tend to get it at the same time. Would be great if I could schedule my COVID booster shot at the same time.

  14. jferber says:

    I feel so sorry for President Biden. So much of the mess in this country, I’d say all, was inherited from shithole presidents before him (trump and both bushes). He is a really good man, but only a magician can fix a fucked up nation like ours where almost half the people are on a stupidity/ partisan/ savage/ death and destruction mission. In my entire life (I won’t tell you how long that is) I have NEVER seen a crazier, scarier America.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      Trump and his crew actually TOLD a reporter they were trying to make a huge mess for Biden so he couldn’t put out all of the fires.

      Reprehensible people.

  15. Eurydice says:

    Dr. Fauci announced this weekend that 8 months is still the recommendation. The medical practice I go to said they are only giving boosters to immunocompromised people right now.

  16. Kronster says:

    I wonder if I can get a booster for Astra-Zeneca, as I REALLY worry about the flu season in my country – we too have a holy lot of anti-Vaxxers. On top of that my company is opening a new office and plans to get us all outta our homes, which gives me anxiety. I’m a mess honestly, and on the verge of a quitting my job. This is despicable!