August 2, 2021 US coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT) August 3, 2021
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8:20 a.m. ET, August 2, 2021

There currently isn’t evidence that the US needs to proceed with Covid-19 booster shots, NIH director says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said there is currently no evidence that the United States needs to go ahead with booster shots, although this is something that is being looked at almost daily. 

“Well, we’re certainly looking at it almost daily,” Collins said on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday when asked if the need for booster shots are inevitable in the US. “As you heard, FDA oversees this and the data is gathering both from the US and from what we’ve learned from places like Israel and the UK.” 

“I would say right now, there is not evidence that we need to go ahead with boosters in the United States, but that’s an ongoing debate,” he said. “Let me just be clear, though, that actually the existing approved vaccines in the US, Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, do have high effectiveness against Delta. There is no reason to rush forward at this present time for a booster decision, but we’re going to watch that day by day.” 

Asked what the harm was in moving forward, Collins said that they just want to do the thing that’s going to be most helpful for people and also recognize that there’s a worldwide shortage of vaccines and countries still desperate to get access.

“If the United States, with its large population, decides we need a whole other bunch of vaccines for our country, that means those are not going to be able to go somewhere else,” he said. “We will do that if that’s what’s necessary to protect Americans. At the present time though, the data doesn’t convince us that it’s time to go forward.”