WASHINGTON — The U.S. is moving in the “wrong direction” in combating a new wave of COVID-19, and a booster vaccine shot may be needed especially for the most vulnerable, said Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
With half of the country still not fully vaccinated, and with a new spread fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, the U.S. faces a worst-case scenario of daily deaths reaching 4,000, the same level as during last winter’s peak, Fauci said.
“I’m not sure if it would be the worst-case scenario but it’s not going to be good,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re going in the wrong direction.”
He addressed the growing issue of “breakthrough infections,” when a person contracts COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, and the possible need for booster shots for those with suppressed immune systems such as cancer or transplant patients. The issue of a third shot was discussed on July 22 by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, he said, which will continue to review the data that “might push us in that direction.”
Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine was just 39% effective in keeping people from getting infected by the contagious delta variant in Israel in recent weeks, according to Israel’s health ministry, but provided a strong shield against hospitalization and more severe forms of the virus. In Los Angeles County, those vaccinated made up 1 in 5 of the new infections in June.
Originally Appeared Here