Will We Soon Need Another COVID Booster Shot?

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With concerns that the rapidly spreading omicron variant may elude vaccine protection, many people are wondering if we will soon need another COVID-19 booster shot. A CNET report found that seems highly likely.

The Pfizer chairman said while he was originally predicting we would need a fourth dose about 12 months after the third dose, he now thinks that may be necessary much sooner because of omicron. He believes we might need to get the COVID vaccine annually — like the flu vaccine — as scientists adjust it for different strains (again, like the flu vaccine).  

In the meantime, researchers are trying to determine how effective the current vaccines are against omicron, whether a variant-specific vaccine is needed to protect against it and other future variants, and who would qualify for yet another booster shot. The good news is that both Pfizer and Moderna say that, if needed, a variant-specific vaccine that could be ready in early 2022.

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