(CNN) The protection provided by Covid-19 vaccines appears to wane over time, especially for people 65 and older, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert said Wednesday.
Ruth Link-Gelles, who helps lead the CDC’s Vaccine Effectiveness Team, reviewed a series of studies looking at the overall effectiveness of vaccines in various groups between February and August.
They found similar patterns for Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, both made using mRNA.
The findings tended to support the argument that people’s protection starts to wane after a few months, and that boosters might help restore their immunity.
Effectiveness started to wane a few months after people were fully vaccinated — defined as two weeks after their second dose of either vaccine.
“For individuals 65 plus, we saw significant declines in VE (vaccine effectiveness) against infection during Delta for the mRNA products,” Link-Gelles told the a meeting of CDC vaccine advisers.
“We also saw declines, particularly for Pfizer, for 65 up, that we’re not seeing in younger populations. Finally there’s evidence of waning VE against hospitalization in the Delta period,” she said.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met Wednesday to discuss the potential need for booster doses of vaccines.
Later Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization to Pfizer for boosters in people 65 and older, those with underlying conditions putting them at high risk of severe disease, and for people whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure.
ACIP will reconvene Thursday to discuss the FDA’s EUA and will issue its own recommendations about how it should be applied to the US population.
The CDC director must then sign off on these recommendations. They currently will only apply to Pfizer’s vaccine … READ MORE.