A COVID-19 booster shot?
Pfizer announced this week it will ask federal regulators to approve a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, raising the prospect of a booster shot as the coronavirus delta variant starts to spread more widely in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The company told The Associated Press a third dose boosts immunity and offers increased protection against the more transmissible variant.
But federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying the need for a booster shot is still under review.
Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention for Advocate Aurora Health, told ABC-7 this morning that federal officials likely will recommend a booster shot after all the data is in.
“The data will likely support the need for booster shots, especially in older patients and others who are most vulnerable to severe illness or death from COVID-19,” Dr. Citronberg says.
For now, with more of the economy opening up and the new virus variant on the move, the key is for people to complete the first vaccine round as experts sort out the need for a booster shot later. The current vaccines protect against the delta variant.
The rate at which Americans have gotten their shots varies widely based on where they live, and locations with fewer vaccinated people are more at risk for another outbreak. Communities with low vaccination rates are already seeing surges in cases.
“It’s really important to understand that virtually every single case of severe illness and death from COVID-19 is preventable by vaccine,” Dr. Citronberg said.
Check out our COVID-19 Info Center to learn more about the virus.
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.