Pfizer pushes for booster shot; surgeon general says not so fast

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 12:31 PM EDT
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(CNN) – As the delta variant spreads across the United States, COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

They’re up 65% over last week’s seven-day average.

“We have hit a wall when it comes to vaccinations and we’ve now seen the consequence, which is that we now see surges across the country,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and CNN medical analyst.

With the delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are rare instances where vaccinated people could still be contagious and may spread the virus to others.

Pfizer says it plans to apply for emergency use authorization of a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine as soon as August.

According to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, new data shows a booster shot “strongly” hikes protection against the delta variant.

“At this point, I want to be very clear, people do not need to go out and get a booster shot,” said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

The government has been in talks with Pfizer about the vaccine maker’s studies on boosters, but Murthy says the decision on whether to recommend a third dose will be made by the Food and Drug Administration, not the company.

“Ultimately, that collective information is what will drive any decision about boosters, but right now a routine booster is not being recommended for people,” the surgeon general said.

Currently, roughly a third of Americans who are eligible to get the vaccine aren’t vaccinated.

The CDC is forecasting COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are likely to increase over the next four weeks.

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