Lag between COVID-19 vaccine boosters, new variants highlight need for therapeutics, expert says

While work on COVID-19 vaccine boosters is already underway, one expert warned that emerging variants threaten to create a “window of susceptibility,” which without therapeutics could lead to more virus-inflicted death.

“Of course there’s a need for boosters,” Dr. Jonathan Javitt, CEO of NRx and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told Fox News. “The problem with boosters is, we’ll always be at least six months behind the curve.”

It takes six months, at best, to tweak previously authorized vaccines to target specific variants, he said, with the time frame of 12 months looking more likely.”You’re always going to have this window of susceptibility where if you don’t have therapeutics that can protect people, you’re going to have people dying of Covid,” Javitt said.

Nationwide, out of the 135 million people who have received a COVID-19 jab, there have been 3,016 hospitalized or fatal vaccine breakthrough cases reported to the CDC as of June 1. Of those cases, 535 involved deaths, 16% of which were reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19. The CDC reported 23% of the hospitalizations reported were asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19.

“I’m gravely concerned,” Javitt said, speaking to variants threatening to diminish vaccine efficacy. “We should certainly celebrate the strides that we’ve made in getting a baseline level of vaccination in the population but we can’t let our vigilance down for a second.”

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