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Fauci says three shots will be the ‘optimal regimen’ of vaccination

In September, Pfizer-BioNTech said its vaccine triggered a robust immune response in younger children. Here’s what we know so far. (Video: Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)
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Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that he believes the “optimal regimen” of vaccination against the novel coronavirus will include a booster shot.

His comments come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that millions of Americans are now eligible for a booster dose — though the decision was not without controversy. The Biden administration has been pushing for expanded third dose eligibility.

As the highly transmissible delta variant continues to surge and hospitals nationwide are once again overwhelmed by covid-19 patients, Fauci said addressing waning immunity will be crucial.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant. Here’s some guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

Variants: Instead of a single new Greek letter variant, a group of immune-evading omicron spinoffs are popping up all over the world. Any dominant variant will likely knock out monoclonal antibodies, targeted drugs that can be used as a treatment or to protect immunocompromised people.

Tripledemic: Hospitals are overwhelmed by a combination of respiratory illnesses, staffing shortages and nursing home closures. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months. Here’s how to tell the difference between RSV, the flu and covid-19.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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