Many travelers from abroad have been inoculated with a second shot or plan to have one in the United States as the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads fast.
According to a Reuters report, these people's reasons range from concerns that COVID-19 vaccines readily available to them don't have adequate efficacy, fears that they need extra protection from the fast-spreading Delta strain, or a need to meet certain requirements for either travel or work.
In addition, some travelers are seeking medical advice, while others are dependent on their own research or study.
A number of countries are starting to offer a third dose to their citizens as well, based on proof that the initial protection from COVID-19 vaccines vanishes over time or that an extra dose may help in the prevention of infection against the variant, specifically for people or those who have weak immune systems.
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The Necessity of a Booster
This report also specified that public health officials had not determined the necessity of a booster dose to be given to the general population. More so, there is not much data yet, on relative risks and benefits of full revaccination.
Infectious diseases expert Jason Gallagher from the Temple University's School of Pharmacy said it is probably more than is required. He added, a fourth dose, perhaps, is a waste, and a third jab is probably not necessary for many people.
The World Health Organization has urged nations to delay or postpone boosters while many worldwide are still waiting to get their first doses.
For instance, 36-year-old Ricardo Dayne, a Chilean engineer who initially got his Sinovac vaccine at home in April, received his first dose of Pfizer in New York in June. He said everyone was talking about the need for a booster, so he decided to have it.
Surplus of Vaccines in the US
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people.
Furthermore, government health officials have approximated that would apply to below three percent of the adults in the US population, although they have said that eventually, booster shots may be needed more extensively.
Meanwhile, as reported by AP News, a surplus of vaccines in the country, along with a decentralized healthcare system, has made it simpler for people to present at pharmacies and vaccination centers for additional doses.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximates that more than 1.2 million Americans have already received at least an extra COVID-19 dose after their first injection.
Travelers Doubling Up on Vaccines
When Reuters asked Moderna about travelers doubling up on vaccines, the company said its vaccine is not authorized for the booster purpose, and Johnson & Johnson, for its answer, directed the news agency to the CDC and FDA. Pfizer, on the other hand, did not provide an immediate reply to a request for comment.
A CVS Health Corp. spokesperson said the company's policy is to reject people who have been fully inoculated at one of its pharmacies or who reveal that they have received their full vaccines elsewhere.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson at Walgreens explained, during the appointment-setting, they ask people if they have received their vaccines. They also have alerts in place to verify.
Twenty-two-year-old Jing Wu, a graduate student, said he had no choice. He got his Sinovac vaccine in December while in China before he moved to the US to attend school at Princeton University.
He heard his school was planning to necessitate proof of an FDA-approved vaccine. The health service of the university urged him to get vaccinated again and guaranteed that it would be safe. He was not reassured, though.
The US to Require Foreign Visitors to be Fully Vaccinated
The report also said the US is currently developing a plan to necessitate almost all foreign visitors to be fully vaccinated, possibly creating the same issues for many people injected with vaccines not authorized by the FDA.
The list of authorized vaccines of Britain and the European Union does not include vaccines manufactured in Russia or China, widely used in many nations across the globe.
According to senior scholar Dr. Amesh Adalja from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, governments need to standardize their definition of fully vaccinated to include injections that may not be approved in their countries but still have substantial efficacy.
Report about the additional booster for travelers in the US is shown on SCCI Channel's YouTube video below: