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Federal regulators are expected to authorize as soon as Thursday additional shots for people with weakened immune systems

Federal regulators are expected to authorize as soon as Thursday additional shots for people with weakened immune systems

Federal regulators are expected to authorize as soon as Thursday additional shots for people with weakened immune systems

With approval for additional Covid-19 vaccine shots for immunocompromised people “imminent,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said on Thursday that federal health authorities were “likely” to call for third shots as boosters for a broader swath of the population at some point, though there was no immediate need to do so.

In an interview on the CBS program “This Morning,” Dr. Fauci noted that federal health authorities were tracking various cohorts of vaccinated people and had seen some early signs that the shots may need shoring up. That is often the case with vaccines.

“We are already starting to see indications in some sectors about a diminution over time” in vaccines’ durability, Dr. Fauci said. Dr. Fauci made the same points in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday.

Federal regulators are expected to authorize as soon as Thursday additional shots for people with weakened immune systems. In an interview last week, Dr. Fauci made the point that, for people with weakened immune systems, “giving them an additional shot is almost not considered a booster, it’s considered part of what their original regimen should have been,” since they need more vaccine to be protected.,48820905.html,48820907.html,48820909.html,48820911.html,48820915.html,48820925.html,48820931.html,48820937.html,48820941.html,48820943.html,%20Geneva,%20sans-serif&text_fsize=11px&title_fpsize=26px&text_weight=&sh_color=F7921E

In contrast, boosters would be used in the broader population to counter any diminution of the vaccines’ protective power.

There are no immediate plans to authorize boosters, Dr. Fauci said, but federal authorities are actively monitoring different groups for signs of waning protection.

“We are following cohorts of individuals, elderly, younger individuals, people in nursing homes, to determine if in fact the level of protection is starting to attenuate,” Dr. Fauci said. “And when it does get to a certain level we will be prepared to give boosters” — preferably, he added, with the same vaccine received earlier.

The debate over booster shots has grown more urgent as the extremely contagious Delta variant runs rampant in the country, especially in populations with lower rates of vaccination.

Over the past week, an average of roughly 124,200 coronavirus cases has been reported each day in the United States, an increase of 86 percent from two weeks ago. Average daily hospitalizations are up to more than 68,800, an 82 percent increase over the last two weeks. The number of new deaths reported is up by 75 percent, to an average of 552 deaths per day.

Countries like Britain, France, Germany and Israel have already announced plans to provide third vaccine doses to certain groups.

Global health authorities have called booster shots a questionable use of the insufficient supply of vaccines while much of the world has not been inoculated, including front line health workers and other high-risk people.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, called last week for a moratorium on boosters until the end of September, so that all countries would ideally have enough doses to vaccinate at least 10 percent of their populations.

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant,” Dr. Tedros said. “But we cannot — and we should not — accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected.”,48820905.html,48820907.html,48820909.html,48820911.html,48820915.html,48820925.html,48820931.html,48820937.html,48820941.html,48820943.html,%20Geneva,%20sans-serif&text_fsize=11px&title_fpsize=26px&text_weight=&sh_color=F7921E

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said later that day that the United States had enough vaccine to provide third doses to people if it is decided that they are needed, while still donating large vaccine supplies to other countries.

— Daniel E. Slotnik
The largest U.S. teacher’s union announces support for vaccination or testing for educators.

Mariah Steffey, a second-grade teacher, with students in Bristol, Va.
Mariah Steffey, a second-grade teacher, with students in Bristol, Va.Credit…Clark Hodgin for The New York Times
The nation’s largest teachers’ union on Thursday offered its support to policies that would require all teachers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit to regular testing.

It is the latest in a rapid series of shifts that could make widespread vaccine requirements for teachers more likely as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads in the United States.

“It is clear that the vaccination of those eligible is one of the most effective ways to keep schools safe,” Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Randi Weingarten, the powerful leader of the American Federation of Teachers, another major education union, signaled her strongest support yet for vaccine mandates on Sunday.

Ms. Pringle left open the possibility that teachers who are not vaccinated could receive regular testing instead, and added that local “employee input, including collective bargaining where applicable, is critical.”

Her union’s support for certain requirements is notable because it represents about three million members across the country, including in many rural and suburban districts where adults are less likely to be vaccinated. Overall, the union said, nearly 90 percent of its members report being fully vaccinated.

Still, any decision to require vaccination for teachers is likely to come at the local or state level. And even with their growing support, teachers’ unions have maintained that their local chapters should negotiate details.

“We believe that such vaccine requirements and accommodations are an appropriate, responsible, and necessary step,” Ms. Pringle said on Thursday. She added that “educators must have a voice in how vaccine requirements are implemented.”

California has ordered all teachers and staff members to provide proof of vaccination or face weekly testing, an order that applies to both public and private schools. Hawaii is requiring all state and county employees to be vaccinated or be tested, including public-school teachers. And Denver has said that city employees, including public school teachers, must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

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