Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony FauciReuters

Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that it is highly likely that people will need booster shots to give them protection from the coronavirus.

Speaking to NBC, Fauci said that people with compromised immune systems in particular will likely never have a strong immune response, and that the vaccine protection has been shown to attenuate over time.

"Then you get to your question, which is the elderly and others. There's no doubt that over time you're going to have an attenuation of protection," he said.

"If you look at the data from Pfizer — Pfizer shows it went down from the 90s down to around 84 after a few months," Fauci added.

"The recent data for Moderna shows that it isn't really going down, but everyone assumes, and I think correctly, that sooner or later you're going to see an attenuation to the point where we're going to have to give an additional boost to people," he continued.

Booster shots, said Fauci, will likely be administered to the elderly and immunocompromised first, as the vaccines were when they were first distributed, noting that it would happen "as soon as the data gets to us."

Fauci also said he hopes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will grant full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine "within the month of August."

Israel recently launched a mass vaccination campaign promoting a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first country in the world to offer a third dose of the COVID vaccine, with the government urging Israelis over the age of 60 to receive a third jab to combat the spread of the delta variant.

Britain will also offer booster vaccines against COVID-19 to 32 million citizens starting early next month with up to 2,000 pharmacies set to deliver the program.

Germany has also announced it will start offering COVID-19 booster shots as of September.

Pfizer recently announced plans to ask US regulators to authorize a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine within the next month.

Following that announcement, Fauci said that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that Americans will need a booster dose but also stressed that it is too soon for the government to recommend another shot.

Later, he indicated that booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated.