Fourth COVID-19 Shot? Experts Offer Confusing – And Contradictory – Answers

Fourth COVID-19 Shot? Experts Offer Confusing – And Contradictory – Answers

Is a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot coming?

Yes, experts say.

No, experts say.

“As the world approaches the second anniversary of the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization, on March 11, more nations are rolling out — or are discussing the possibility of — fourth doses of coronavirus vaccine for their most vulnerable,” CNN reported, noting that a recommendation could come as soon as fall.

“Now, the US Food and Drug Administration ‘is indeed continually looking at the emerging data on the pandemic and variants in the United States and overseas in order to evaluate the potential utility and composition of booster doses,’ FDA spokesperson Alison Hunt wrote in an email to CNN on Friday,” the network reported.

“As more data become available about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, including the use of a booster dose, we will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing science and keep the public informed,” Hunt added. “Any determination that additional booster doses are needed will be based on data available to the agency.”

But other experts say a fourth shot may not be needed for months – or years.

“If you recently got a booster shot to protect against COVID-19, you may not need another for several months, or even several years, new studies suggest,” Business Insider reported on Tuesday.

“According to one study released earlier this week and reported on by Apoorva Mandavilli for The New York Times, receiving three mRNA vaccinations from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna helps the body create a wide array of antibodies that are especially effective in not only preventing death and severe illness, but also in protecting against variants,” the outlet added.

“John Wherry, director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Times that scientists are ‘starting to see now diminishing returns on the number of additional doses,’ noting that a fourth vaccination may be unnecessary to protect against death and serious illness for the average adult,” Business Insider reported.

“If people are exposed to another variant like Omicron, they now got some extra ammunition to fight it,” Dr. Julie McElrath, a Seattle infectious disease physician, told the Irish Times.

One scientific model for COVID-19 cases now estimates that some 73% of Americans are currently immune to Omicron, and that figure could jump to 80% by the middle of next month, according to a new report.

“About half of eligible Americans have received booster shots, there have been nearly 80 million confirmed infections overall and many more infections have never been reported,” according to the Associated Press.

“We have changed,” Ali Mokdad, a professor at the University of Washington, told the wire service. “We have been exposed to this virus and we know how to deal with it.”

“‘I am optimistic even if we have a surge in summer, cases will go up, but hospitalizations and deaths will not,’ said Mokdad, who works on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model, which calculated the 73% figure for The Associated Press,” the AP wrote on Thursday.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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