MILWAUKEE — COVID-19 booster shots are now recommended for everyone who thought they were already fully vaccinated.
The move comes as Wisconsin continues to battle rising COVID-19 cases, especially the more worrisome Delta variant.
NIAID Director and Chief Medical Adviser to President Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, tells TMJ4 News on Thursday that booster shots will help those who are already vaccinated stay ahead of the virus.
TMJ4's Charles Benson: "There are a lot of timely issues I want to address, and let's start with President Biden recommending the COVID booster shots. Why now, what changed for those who thought they were fully vaccinated?"
Dr. Fauci: "Well, what changed is that if you look at the durability of the protection in the context of this highly transmissible Delta variant, we were starting to see literally only recently that that gets to your point of why now that there is an attenuation of the protection against infection, and mildly to moderately severe disease. What has hold true and strong is the protection against severe disease, leading to hospitalizations and deaths."
Watch the full interview here:
Dr. Fauci says when you look at what happened in Israel with the Delta variant and efforts to provide booster shots in that country - the booster helped.
"In fact, a report today from Israel has shown that they have already been boosting people ahead of us," said Dr Fauci. "And they're seeing a favorable effect in protection, so we want to stay ahead of the curve, and not be chasing after and responding to something bad that's happening. We want to prevent it from happening."
50% of all people in Wisconsin are fully vaccinated. It jumps to 61% for people 18 years and older. As people begin to line up for booster shots, health care professionals are still trying to get people their first shots.
Benson: "Are you concerned it will take away from their efforts to give people their first shot? For example, Milwaukee's mayor says the city has been going door to door to reach the unvaccinated. That's labor intensive."
Dr. Fauci: "Let me, and thank you for that question. I want to make sure we make it very clear to the people of Milwaukee: The most important thing that we need to do is to get the 90 plus million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated, who have not yet gotten vaccinated."