There May Be a Covid Booster Shot -- or Not


Both Moderna and Pfizer have booster vaccinations in clinical trials.

“In my opinion it’s too early to tell whether we’re going to need boosters,” says Dr. Catherine Troisi, PhD, an infectious disease epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health.

Pfizer is working on combining a Covid booster with a pneumonia (20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) on elderly patients.

Moderna told investors this month the company is in mid-stage clinical trials. Dr. Troisi says the current vaccines are holding up against all variants that have emerged so it’s kind of wait and see. “But it’s also going to depend on whether a variant arises that the current vaccines either don’t protect against or do a poor job of protecting against.”

Both companies are examining how long a first round of vaccines will offer protection and say it’s not known precisely yet, though they are working off the theory that it will prove to be around six to eight months after getting the second shot in the first series.

Some doctors stress that getting people vaccinated in the first round should be the priority.

photo: Getty Images


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