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US Set to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Next Month

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Amid rising incidence of coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant, U.S. health officials have decided to start providing booster doses to the country’s citizens beginning in the first week of fall that will start on Sep 20. The booster dose will be administered to individuals who have completed eight months of their initial vaccination regimen.

The officials believe that with additional immunization individuals will have proper antibody protection against the coronavirus and its variants. Though vaccines have been observed to be highly effective at preventing illness severe enough to require hospitalization, their protection reduces over time.

Booster doses of Moderna’s (MRNA - Free Report) mRNA-1273 and Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) /BioNTech’s (BNTX - Free Report) BNT162b are first in the line to get an authorization for use in U.S. individuals. More data on J&J’s (JNJ - Free Report) single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is required to decide upon a booster dose of the vaccine.

The first round of booster doses will likely be given to people who completed their vaccination during the initial rollout of the vaccines last year or early 2021, which includes health care providers, nursing home residents and senior citizens.

The Delta variant is becoming a serious cause of concern as the most contagious of the coronavirus variants currently. Infection cases in the United States have started increasing again at a rapid pace since June-end and fast approaching the previous high of daily infection cases recorded in January 2021. Several European countries are also observing a spike in daily new cases. Although it seems that the proportion of severe cases have declined compared to the previous COVID-19 wave, there is mounting evidence in support of waning of antibody protection in individuals gradually over a period of a few months.

Though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its statement recommending a booster dose, its availability remains subject to independent evaluation and determination of its safety and effectiveness by the FDA. Moreover, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue booster dose recommendations following thorough review of the evidence.

Please note that the FDA authorized the use of an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in immunocompromised individuals last week.

Per a Reuters article, several other countries have decided to immunize older and immunocompromised citizens with a booster dose during the past few weeks.

While Moderna carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Pfizer, BioNTech and J&J currently have a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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