According to the CEOs of both Pfizer and Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine boosters might be needed in the near future to ensure protection against COVID-19. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told Axios “The data that I see coming, they are supporting the notion that likely there will be a need for a booster somewhere between eight and 12 months,” meaning early takers of the vaccine might be eligible for a booster shot as early as September.
Moderna CEO told Axios “People at highest risks (elderly, healthcare workers) were vaccinated in December/January,” he wrote. “So I would do [a] September start for those at highest risk.”
While the news of a booster shot possibly being necessary for those who got the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t new, this is the first time that top officials have explicitly stated that it is more than likely one will be needed.
British officials have already launched a national trial on the COVID-19 booster shot to study the impact of a third vaccine preventing the spread of COVID. Seven different booster shots will be tested in the trial, with about 3,000 people participating.
Approximately 47.9 percent of the United States population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with approximately 37.8 percent of the population being fully vaccinated.
Anthony Fauci, director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that the efficacy of the vaccine lasts at least six months and likely more, but a booster will be almost certainly required within a year of getting the initial vaccine.
It is possible according to medical experts that a yearly booster will be needed to protect against COVID-19, akin to the yearly influenza vaccine. Moderna has already been working on its own booster shot, which would be a half dose of the original vaccine that the FDA approved for emergency authorization back in December.
“Instead of having to play whack-a-mole with each individual variant and develop a booster that’s variant-specific, it is likely that you could just keep boosting against the wild type, and wind up getting a good enough response that you wouldn’t have to worry about the variants,” Fauci said in an interview.
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