Pfizer to discuss COVID vaccine booster with US officials; Gov. Lamont still evaluating CDC mask guidance for schools

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP/WTNH) – Pfizer says it plans to meet Monday with top U.S. health officials to discuss the drugmaker’s request for federal authorization of a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.

President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser is acknowledging that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that booster shots will be needed in the coming months.

Last week, Pfizer asserted that booster shots would be needed within 12 months, drawing a rebuttal from U.S. health officials saying booster shots were not needed “at this time.”

While Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t ruling out the possibility, he says it’s too soon for the government to recommend another shot.

We know the vaccine works and works very well. The COVID positivity numbers keep going down in Connecticut.

The question is: How long does it work? Pfizer said last week that booster shots would be needed within 12 months. Some top health officials would only say that no booster shots are needed “at this time.”

Meanwhile, hospitalization numbers are climbing in states with low vaccination rates. Among those getting infected, 99.7% are unvaccinated. The very nasty and easily transmissible Delta variant mostly to blame.

This vaccine meeting comes as The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Friday that states can advise whether students and teachers heading back to school can ditch facemasks. In addition, the CDC is recommending masks on school busses, 3-feet social distancing in classrooms if someone is unvaccinated, and weekly voluntary COVID testing.

What does this mean for K-12 students and teachers in Connecticut? Gov. Ned Lamont is still evaluating exactly what the state will do for schools this fall, including how they deal with younger groups who can’t get the shot. He said that unvaccinated people should wear a mask in school. Since the vaccine is not yet available to students under the age of 12, those kids would need to wear a mask.

Of course, it can be tough to know which students are vaccinated. Connecticut’s Health Commissioner says less than half of kids 12 to 15 have gotten the shots. Those 12 to 18 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

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