By Carl Zimmer, et al.
Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine may become slightly weaker over time, the company reported. But experts said that most people won’t need boosters anytime soon.
This study report shows how intensely political the decision on boosters will be. Boosters would be a goldmine for the producers. They are eagerly awaited by some elders and other vulnerable people. We don’t know if they would increase “rare” health risks. The Biden team is concerned that anti-vaxxers would play boosters as evidence that the vaccines don’t work for long and aren’t worth what they perceive as the risk. Most older people I know would love to get the booster if there’s evidence it is safe.Michael Lerner
Pfizer reported on Wednesday that the power of its two-dose Covid vaccine wanes slightly over time, but nonetheless offers lasting and robust protection against serious disease. The company suggested that a third shot could improve immunity, but whether boosters will be widely needed is far from settled, the subject of heated debate among scientists.
So far, federal health officials have said boosters for the general population are unnecessary. And experts questioned whether vaccinated people should get more doses when so many people have yet to be immunized at all.
“There’s not enough evidence right now to support that that is somehow the best use of resources,” said Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at Emory University in Atlanta.
Still, the findings raise questions about how well the Pfizer vaccine will prevent infection in the months to come. And with coronavirus cases surging again in many states, the data may influence the Biden administration’s deliberations about delivering boosters for older people.