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Boosters for the US

Adults in the US who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will be eligible for a booster shot eight months after their initial inoculation, beginning toward the end of September, NPR reports.

"We know that even highly effective vaccines become less effective over time," Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said at a White House briefing, according to NPR. "It is now our clinical judgment that the time to lay out a plan for COVID boosters is now."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, released three studies that show that while the vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19, there has been a decline in protection from infection, the New York Times reports. Boston University's Ellie Murray notes at the Times that the studies suggest that a booster dose might be warranted among immunocompromised individuals, but that the added benefit among others might be small or about the same as wearing a mask or avoiding crowds.

The World Health Organization, which called for a moratorium on booster shots earlier this month, has condemned the booter push by wealthier nations, the Guardian reports. "We're planning to hand out extra lifejackets to people who already have lifejackets, while we're leaving other people to drown without a single lifejacket," Mike Ryan, director of the WHO's health emergency program, says, according to the Guardian.

According to NPR, President Joe Biden said that the US "can take care of America and help the world at the same time."

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.