Shomporko Online News Desk
Pfizer revealed Thursday that it is preparing a COVID-19 booster shot to ensure that things continue to move in the right way as vaccine coverage blankets the country, ushering in hope for a return to normal.
According to specialists, there is only one issue. It’s possible that we won’t require it.
According to specialists, the key to reducing COVID-19’s impact on our daily life is to prevent extreme results. When hospitalizations begin to exceed the capacity of the healthcare system, lockdowns and limitations are implemented.
But with vaccines proving highly effective at preventing severe outcomes, experts say any conversations about boosters are still premature.
“I don’t think there’s good clinical evidence,” said Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist, on whether there’s data to back up Pfizer’s booster shot claims.
Chagla added people “shouldn’t necessarily worry that these two shots are going to be useless in a few years.”
“These are the shots that are going to keep people out of hospital and health care from dying,” he said.
Chagla isn’t alone in his skepticism.
“The general feeling that it is not the right time for a third dose of the mRNA vaccines,” said John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.
“We’re not saying it should never happen, but now is not the time.”
While there are few studies showing how long protection provided by COVID-19 vaccines lasts, the early research is promising.
A study published in the journal Nature in late June found mRNA-based vaccines create a more “persistent” germinal center B cell response, which means that a person’s immune response to the jab is stronger and longer-lasting.
The researchers looked at the volunteers four months after they received their first Pfizer dose and discovered that the germinal centers in their lymph nodes, which are similar to a boot camp for immune cells, continued to pump out those cells to guard against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Despite this research, Pfizer maintains that a third dose is “likely” to be required “within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination,” according to a press release issued on Thursday by the company.
“While protection against severe disease remained high during the 6-month period, efficacy against symptomatic disease is predicted to wane over time, and variations will continue to emerge.”