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COVID-19 Booster Shots Likely Needed Within a Year: Fauci

Fauci also said that variant-specific booster shots may not be needed

THURSDAY, May 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Fully vaccinated people will likely need a COVID-19 booster shot within about a year, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert and the Pfizer CEO said Wednesday.

“We know that the vaccine durability of the efficacy lasts at least six months, and likely considerably more, but I think we will almost certainly require a booster sometime within a year or so after getting the primary,” Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN.

Fauci also said Wednesday that variant-specific booster shots may not be needed. “Instead of having to play whack-a-mole with each individual variant and develop a booster that’s variant-specific, it is likely that you could just keep boosting against the wild type, and wind up getting a good enough response that you wouldn’t have to worry about the variants,” he said.

Meanwhile, trials of a Pfizer booster vaccine are ongoing, company CEO Albert Bourla said. “I believe in one, two months we will have enough data to speak about it with much higher scientific certainty,” he told CNN. “If they got their second shot eight months ago, they may need a third one,” Bourla said, adding that booster shots could be coming between September and October of this year.

Bourla said Pfizer will have to see what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves and what its recommendation will be on how best to protect the American people. Moderna has also been working on a booster shot — a half dose of its vaccine — to fight COVID-19 variants like B.1.351, first seen in South Africa, and P.1, first discovered in Brazil, CNN reported.

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