WASHINGTON — With this latest decision on COVID-19 booster shots, what does that mean for second and third doses for all the vaccines?
The dominance of the delta variant across the country, combined with fears of waning immunity from the vaccines has got a lot of people looking into and talking about booster doses.
Our Verify experts and researchers explained it will matter for which booster you get. But they also pointed out there is new data on the effectiveness of the current vaccines, and they continue to offer strong immunity even in the face of the delta variant.
Does it matter which vaccine you got when it comes to getting a booster?
Yes, it does matter.
WHAT WE FOUND:
“The only FDA approved booster would be from Pfizer,” Frieman said. “None of the other vaccines can be approved by the FDA for boosters, yet,” said Dr. Moss.
“Those pharmaceutical companies (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) have not submitted their data because they're still collecting it on whether or not an additional dose is needed,” he continued.
Regarding the Pfizer booster shots, an FDA panel did make a recommendation about boosters, but it wasn’t universal.
“(FDA’s) recommendation is that these additional doses be considered for individuals older than 65 years of age and individuals either at high risk of disease or high risk for exposure,” Moss explained.
If you are wondering why the FDA panel wouldn’t recommend boosters for all, both of our experts said the latest data shows the current vaccines still performing well.
“The protective effectiveness of the vaccine against hospitalization and death still was above 90%,” Moss said.
“Almost no one is going to the hospital who's been vaccinated and then infected,” Frieman said.
Yes, in the case of boosters it will matter what vaccine you originally received. That is because the boosters can only be approved as each vaccine company applies for approval.
As far as what happens next for the other vaccines. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are in the process of applying for full FDA approval for their vaccine. After that-the companies have both signaled they will apply for approval of their boosters as well.