Regulators mull boosters as delta variant rages

The CDC is examining booster shots against COVID-19 for immunocompromised patients.

As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to supplant all others to become the dominant strain in the U.S., regulators are starting to look at possible booster shots for those who have already received one of the available vaccines.

According to a report from The Washington Post, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet July 22 to discuss whether to recommend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) give additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to immunocompromised patients. This 2 to 4 percent slice of U.S. adults include those who have received organ transplants, those receiving cancer treatments, and those with rheumatologic conditions.

The committee focus on updating clinical considerations for the vaccines that don’t require an advisory panel vote, according to the Post.

Previously, Pfizer announced its intention to submit the data from their COVID-19 booster trials to regulators for approval.

A third dose of the current BNT162b2 vaccine given six months after the second dose has a consistent tolerability profile and elicits high neutralization titers five or 10 times higher than the primary doses. The data will be submitted in the next few weeks.

When it comes to the Delta variant, the two-dose regimen have strong neutralization titers, but the companies believe those protections would increase with a third dose. They are conducting pre-clinical and clinical tests to prove this hypothesis.

Meanwhile, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration has said that patients fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need booster shots at this time.

“We encourage Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their community,” the agencies said in a joint statement. “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.”