Pittsburgh physician weighs proposed COVID-19 booster – newsfeeds

PITTSBURGH – As the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread, health officials are examining whether or not a booster vaccination may be required.

This week, Pfizer announced plans to seek approval for a third dose of its current COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that after the second dose, efficacy will decrease over time.

However, both the CDC and FDA released a joint statement claiming, “Americans who have been fully vaccinated currently do not need a booster vaccination”.

Dr. Marc Itskowitz, internist at Allegheny Health Network, agrees.

While the Delta variant “mutated away from the vaccine,” Dr. Itskowitz that the current doses still offer “excellent protection” overall.

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The majority of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the United States and around the world are unvaccinated, he said.

“As soon as we see a situation in which vaccinated patients are developing severe COVID-19 at a high rate, this would be the time to talk about a booster vaccination.”

Dr. Itskowitz believes the CDC could begin recommending booster injections within the next three to six months.

“We anticipate that at least one booster dose and likely a new vaccine formulation will be required over time to meet this challenge [Delta] Variant.”

Pfizer officials recently announced plans to investigate the latter and also introduce a booster vaccination. In August, the company plans to begin trials of a new coronavirus vaccine targeted against Delta.

When it comes to a potential new vaccine or booster, Dr. Itskowitz makes sense to initially offer vaccination to frontline health workers, the elderly and the immunocompromised, similar to the original introduction.

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