Former Obama White House Political Director Dr. Kavita Patel explained why the rising number of Covid cases in the UK could be a compelling argument in favor of booster vaccinations.
“What is happening is … this real-world experiment where AstraZeneca is becoming less effective and they haven’t brought their boosters to market,” Patel said during an interview on Tuesday night on CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith. “It’s a booster argument and a pretty compelling one.”
The early launch of vaccination in the UK began in December 2020 and was one of the first in the world. However, it is now believed to contribute to its high case rate as more and more data show that immunity in vaccinated individuals decreases after about six months.
The spread of the much more contagious Delta-Covid variant in spring and summer is also seen as a factor that has reduced the effectiveness of the vaccine.
In September the UK began introducing booster vaccinations for those over 50, healthcare workers and anyone with pre-existing conditions. Those who received their second dose at least six months ago are asked to report first. Currently, around 6.5 million people in England are entitled to a booster vaccination, with the NHS having given around 3.6 million booster injections to date, data shows.
Patel told host Shepard Smith that she is also keeping an eye on the strain of Covid, which may be helping Britain have one of the worst daily infection rates in the world.
“We’re seeing some kind of underline of the Delta tribe, something very specific that is growing in percentage in the UK … chances are it’s more communicable than Delta, making it easier, more contagious than Delta,” said Patel.
In the United States, the New York Times reported that the Food and Drug Administration is expected to release Johnson & Johnson and Moderna boosters and allow mix-and-match shots this week.