(Bloomberg) — An 80-year-old man who received a Pfizer booster in September wonders if he needs an extra dose and if it will protect him against VARIOUS omicron?
The threat of another wave of the virus in the United States looms just as the effects of the surges may be wearing off for many Americans. So it makes sense to wonder if it’s time to roll up your sleeves for another dose.
Last week, Moderna applied for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a second booster dose, which was four doses in total for all adults. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have also asked the agency to authorize another dose of its vaccine for people 65 and older (a second booster has already been authorized for Americans with compromised immune systems).
But scientists and physicists have been more divided than vaccine makers about whether the time is right for another dose.
“It makes sense that people 65 and older could get worse from an extra booster dose,” says Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Comorbid conditions that lead to severe illness from COVID-19, such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease, are also more prevalent in older age groups, putting them at greater risk of negative outcomes. ”.
As for healthy people, he says, studies on the impact of a fourth dose on the immune response haven’t really shown that much added immunogenicity.
“Studies have found that peak immunogenicity of mRNA vaccines is achieved after three doses and can be restored with a fourth dose as immunogenicity declines over time,” says Wallace. “The additional dose represented a modest boost to the efficacy of the vaccine against infection and severe disease.”
We know that even when efficacy declines, vaccines still appear to provide good protection against serious infections, hospitalization, and death for most people, the most crucial goal of vaccines. Many experts agree with Wallace’s view that three doses are necessary for healthy people, and a fourth might not be worth it. The FDA is said to immediately summon an advisory committee to investigate the problem.
But Wallace also points out that in the US at least, only about half of those eligible for a first booster dose have so far received one. So, for now, it might make more sense to focus efforts on getting Americans who don’t already have a booster getting one, and of course getting unvaccinated Americans to roll up their sleeves as well.
Coronavirus Daily: Should I Get Another Shot?
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