Medical professionals are skeptical on a fourth Covid vaccine dose
CNBC was told by medical professionals that research has not been done enough to determine how protective a fourth dose might offer.
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Although countries have begun to provide a fourth dose Covid-19 vaccination to the most vulnerable, doctors are unsure if this would be of benefit to the greater population.
So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not published any data. authorized a fourth shot only for those aged 50 and aboveAs well as immunocompromised patients. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was skeptical of the need for a fourth dose for healthy adultsIn the absence of a more clear public health strategy.
Those decisions came as a study from Israel found that although a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offers protection against serious illness for at least six weeks after the shot, it provides only short-lived protection against infection, which wanes after just four weeks.
The consensus medical opinion so far has been that no research has done enough to assess how protective a fourth dosage can provide.
According to Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at WHO, “there’s not any good evidence” for a fourth dose and the World Health Organization has not yet made an official recommendation.
We know that immunology has shown us that there will be a temporary rise in neutralizing antibodies if another booster is given. Swaminathan said that neutralizing antibodies can decrease quite quickly in interviews with CNBC.
It happened right after the third dosage. It happened again after the fourth dosage,” she said.
Paul Goepfert from the University of Alabama was a professor of medicine and shared this view. He said that “a fourth dosage doesn’t really accomplish much of anything.” “I don’t think we should just get up and shout that everyone needs to board.
Study from Israel has shown that the fourth dose may provide protection against serious diseases. Countries such as Israel and Singapore now offer a second booster shot to those at high risk.
Ashley St. John is an associate professor at Duke University-NUS Medical School. She stated that rather than saying the protection decreases, she would instead say that this boost effect was strongest immediately after vaccination has been administered but that overall it continues to protect.”
She said, “Importantly there were no waning in protection against serious disease. This is the most important effect of vaccination that we seek to achieve.”
There are questions about the necessity of booster shots, as more Covid variants could require targeted vaccines.
Anthony Fauci was the White House’s chief medical adviser. He told NBC News that he said it to NBC News on January 1. people may need to get booster shots every year or two.
However, some blanket vaccine strategies may no longer work.
It is possible that high-risk groups — such as the elderly — may need an annual vaccine, said Swaminathan. It isn’t clear, however, if an adult who is healthy will require an annual shot.
She also said that future Covid-19 variants may require different vaccines.
Swaminathan said that the vaccine composition will be changed if the virus is “so unstable” and then it won’t require another shot. Swaminathan said that the challenge in changing vaccine compositions is to always catch up.
Goepfert stated that “only time” will show how much longer the population needs to receive booster shots. However, it is safest to plan on getting a booster each year and possibly combine it with flu vaccination.
On Tuesday, the WHO declared that the WHO would be publishing a weekly new Covid deaths had fallen to the lowest level since March 2020.
The more contagious omicron BA.2 strain remains the predominant strain in America, accounting for 68.1% in all US cases during the week ending April 23rd according to data provided by the CDC.
While experts believe that the BA.2 variant will be less severe than the original, they should not rule out the possibility.
Goepfert stated that infections will continue to be a problem in the United States. But in terms of serious infections, it’s likely to decrease.
St. John explained that only patients from places with adequate vaccination coverage would suffer “mild, manageable diseases” which would decrease “burden on healthcare systems compared to the waves of Covid prevaccines.”
She added that a vaccine booster could trigger immunity system memories, increasing performance on the actual test and mimicking studying for an exam.