Sep 13, 2021 - Health

Vaccine experts: COVID-19 booster shots aren't needed now

COVID-19 vaccine vials and syringes on a table.
Photo: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are not necessary right now based on the current evidence, international public health experts — including two FDA vaccine leaders who are leaving the agency this year — wrote a new paper in The Lancet.

Why it matters: The paper is a rebuke of the Biden administration's push to open up booster shots for everyone.

What they're saying: "Even if boosting were eventually shown to decrease the medium-term risk of serious disease, current vaccine supplies could save more lives if used in previously unvaccinated populations than if used as boosters in vaccinated populations," the scientists wrote.

  • They did say booster doses could be appropriate for immunocompromised people, and indeed that population can get a third dose of an mRNA vaccine.

The bottom line: Medical ethicists and scientists have not supported widespread booster shots, as the vaccines are still extremely effective in preventing severe COVID-19 and death, and considering a majority of the world still hasn't gotten one shot.

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