Pfizer Seeks Approval for Third Vaccine Dose to Protect Against Increasing Presence of Delta Variant
by Yehudit Garmaise
As the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. that are identified as the strain known as the Delta variant has doubled since June 19, Pfizer is seeking approval from U.S. regulators to see whether the drug company can provide Americans with a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to boost their protection against the contagious variant.
While just 19 days ago, 26% of American COVID cases were identified with the Delta variant, that number has now increased to 50%, warned Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, who is the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Walensky emphasized that people are who are not fully vaccinated are "definitively not protected" from COVID-19 and should continue to wear masks.
“The vaccinations work for the Delta variant,” Mitch Katz, MD, the CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals said two days ago. “The Delta variant is just more contagious, and so it poses a greater risk for the unvaccinated.
“The problem is unvaccinated people. They're the ones who are generally getting infected.”
Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the population who is getting infected with the COVID’s Delta variant “clearly correlates to a gap in vaccination or an unwillingness on a large scale for folks get vaccinated.”
“Vaccination is the key with respect to protecting us from not just the Delta variant, but all of the variants that are circulating in New York City and the United States right now,” Dave Chokshi, the city's health commissioner said today. “We do know that the Delta variant is here in the city and in fact comprises a significant number of the cases that we're seeing in the city right now, and the CDC released data earlier this week showing that the Delta variant is the predominant one across the United States.
“But what we know is that that variant is most risky for people who are not yet fully vaccinated.
“We're getting more and more evidence about how effective the vaccines are against the Delta variant, particularly for severe illness.
“There is a slightly higher rate of vaccine breakthroughs that is apparent for the Delta variant, but the big picture is that it remains highly protective and particularly for the outcomes that we care the most about for ourselves and our loved ones.”
(Photo by: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)