Will i need a COVID booster? Pfizer says yes. CDC, FDA warn it’s too early to know


Are COVID-19 boosters on the way?

Sara Tew / CNET

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit WHO and CDC websites.

With the delta variant become the dominant strain of coronavirus, Pfizer said on Thursday it was doing a booster for its COVID-19 vaccine. The new booster injection will target the highly contagious delta mutation, which has spread over 100 countries and is responsible for a growing number of new infections in the United States.

In a recent press release, Pfizer said a third shot of its vaccine would strengthen the immunity of those who have already received the first two vaccines. In addition to creating a booster for its existing vaccine, the drugmaker said it would formulate a new version of its COVID-19 vaccine to target the delta variant. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration responded with a joint statement that fully vaccinated Americans “do not need a booster at this time.”

Earlier this month, the CDC and the World Health Organization issued conflicting directives on the need for fully vaccinated people to wear face masks. This debate, along with the ongoing discussion of booster injections, highlights how scientists and other health experts continue to grapple with the uncertainties of COVID-19 as restrictions loosen. Here’s what we know about Pfizer’s plans for a recall, and why the CDC and FDA are warning of it, at least for now.

Why would Pfizer develop a COVID-19 recall?

With Moderna, Pfizer’s current two-dose vaccine provides effective protection against all known variants of COVID-19, including the delta variant. Studies have shown that the Pfizer vaccine more than 90% efficient against the virus. So why is the drugmaker pushing for a recall?

Pfizer said its own research showed that a third booster of its current vaccine increased antibody levels five to ten times more than its two-dose injections. The company noted that its results had not been published or peer reviewed.

Pfizer said he believed the level of protection provided by the two doses of his vaccine might wane over time, and that a third booster dose might be needed “within six to 12 months” after a person is fully vaccinated. To prepare for the booster, Pfizer is both testing the effectiveness of a third dose of its current vaccine and working on an updated version targeting the delta variant.


Pfizer is testing the effectiveness of a COVID-19 booster.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When will clinical trials for the recall take place?

Pfizer said it would begin clinical trials on the booster in August as it seeks approval from government regulators for a third dose. The company claims that a third injection given at least six months after the second injection of its original vaccine series would enhance protection against the delta variant, known to infect fully vaccinated people (also here).

What are the CDC and the FDA saying in response?

“Fully vaccinated people are protected against serious illness and death, including against variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” the CDC and the FDA said in a joint statement, without naming Pfizer. Government agencies have stressed the need for all eligible people to receive full doses of any of the approved vaccines, all of which are free.

The CDC and the FDA have said the question of a recall requires extensive scientific data and does not depend solely on the contribution of drug companies. “Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 are among those not vaccinated,” the statement said, adding that agencies will approve booster doses “if and when science shows they are needed. “.

Would the callback be free?

The current one-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and the two-dose versions from Moderna and Pfizer are free to anyone who wants to get vaccinated. According to the Biden administration, COVID-19 booster injections will also be free, if and when approved.

Biden press conference

The Biden administration said the booster shots would be free.

Screenshot by Corinne Reichert / CNET

Is Moderna also planning to develop a booster?

As scientists and public health officials continue to study if and when those who are fully vaccinated will need a booster, Moderna said – with Pfizer – he goes ahead and explores the need for a third move.

Is it a good idea to mix and match COVID vaccines?

The CDC does not recommend mix and match vaccines from different manufacturers, saying it has not evaluated the effectiveness of mixing vaccine doses and that “vaccines are not interchangeable.”

However, other global health agencies and countries are testing vaccines administered by two different manufacturers. In England, for example, a recent study found that those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and a second dose of Pfizer had a higher immune response than those who have received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

While waiting to see the evolution of the situation, here is what we know about the delta variant, more about COVID-19 Boosters and if you need to continue to wear a mask.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have about a health problem or health goals.


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