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By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. officials preparing to roll out COVID-19 booster shots in the face of waning vaccine protection and surging hospitalizations and deaths caused by the highly contagious Delta variant are hoping they might prevent mild cases as well.

In theory, that could reduce virus transmission – a goal officials have been less explicit about – and hasten America’s recovery.

“It is not the primary reason (for boosters), but it could actually be a very positive offshoot,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 advisers and the nation’s top infectious disease doctor told Reuters.

The main reason for boosters, Fauci said in a telephone interview, is to reverse the trend of rising “breakthrough” infections among people who are fully vaccinated, a point that many experts dispute.

Available data has shown that most severe breakthrough cases have occurred in people over 65 or among those who are immunocompromised. That latter group is already recommended for a third dose… Read More

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