COVID-19 vaccine boosters might be offered to some Americans this fall

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines appear to be losing their effectiveness, requiring booster shots.
A health care worker in Fort Collins, Colo., receives one of the first coronavirus vaccines
(Denver Post via Getty Images)

The director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Sunday that booster shots for COVID-19 vaccines might be made available for certain groups of Americans starting this fall.

As Israel has found in preliminary studies that vaccine effectiveness has dropped in those who received it in January, and is offering booster shots to those over 60, the U.S. may do the same soon, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said.

"There is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane in its effectiveness over months," Collins told "Fox News Sunday." "And delta is a nasty one for us to try to deal with. The combination of those two means we may need boosters, maybe beginning first with health care providers, as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward."

Collins said that since the delta variant only really started hitting the U.S. in July, case data will have to be examined in the "next couple of weeks" to determine if booster shots will be needed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing Americans who are immunocompromised to receive booster shots of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

"If it turns out as the data come in, we see we do need to give an additional dose to people in nursing homes, actually, or people who are elderly, we will be absolutely prepared to do that very quickly," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS' "Face the Nation."

According to the CDC, currently, about 60% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 51% are fully vaccinated.