By: Alyssa Wilson
Pfizer is getting ready to seek authorization in the United States for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.
On Thursday, the company said another dose within 12 months could boost immunity and help fight the highly transmissible variants of the disease.
According to the Associated Press, research from multiple countries revealed the Pfizer shot and other COVID-19 vaccines offer protection against the Delta variant spreading quickly in the United States. While two doses are needed to develop the antibodies to fight COVID-19 and its variants, antibodies can dwindle over time.
Dr. Mikael Dolsten, the President of Research and Development at Pfizer, said early data from a study on the company’s booster shot suggest antibody levels jumped after a third dose compared to the second dose months prior.
While Pfizer is pushing their booster shot, some medical experts aren’t too concerned about adding additional doses. Dr. William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center told the Associated Press that the focus is on trying to get people vaccinated. He noted that giving a third dose would be “a huge effort while we are at the moment striving to get people the first dose.”
Top health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration say a booster is not needed right now. They released a joint statement saying: “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary. This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data-which can include data from specific pharmaceutical companies but does not rely on those data exclusively.”