More booster shots are being rolled out across the country, but it's raising more questions than answers.
The White House COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients calls boosters a significant step forward in the fight against the pandemic. However, it’s not clear out of how many steps Americans will need to take to protect themselves. The CDC Director admits the definition of “fully vaccinated” may eventually change. Americans will soon be allowed to mix-and-match boosters from Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. A COVID-19 vaccine doesn't appear to be as effective as the ones for measles and chickenpox.
“On one hand, today’s booster could be part of tomorrow’s 3-shot series,” Jonathan Baktari, CEO of e7 Health, said. “Or we may need seasonal boosters because the virus is going to keep, essentially, mutating.”
Baktari, a medical doctor, says the jury is still out. He notes that researchers are trying to figure how best to fight the virus as it mutates. One possibility could be to combine a seasonal influenza vaccine with a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine into a single shot.
“So, if it does mutate, and the 3-shot doesn’t give you lifelong immunity, and you do need seasonal ones, I know they’ve looked into that with the Novavax vaccine, for example, to combine it with Moderna’s vaccine,” Baktari explained. “But obviously, they haven’t done trials on that yet. So, we don’t know.”
Many Americans are concerned they'll be told they need a booster every 6 months to year for decades to come.