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Debate over COVID-19 booster shots continues

Officials warn the pandemic isn't over as cities report an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Officials warn the pandemic isn't over as cities report an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On Monday Pfizer met with top federal health officials to discuss whether a booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine may be necessary in coming months.

The company announced last week it plans to seek approval for a third dose, but the FDA and CDC say a booster is not needed right now.

The back and forth is causing some confusion for people.

UW-Health’s Dr. Jeff Pothof describes this as “messy science”. He says, it’s not uncommon for scientists and health officials to go back and forth, trying to interpret all of the data.

Right now Pfizer says it’s seeing decreasing immunity rates from its Coronavirus vaccine and is looking into developing a booster that better protects against variants.

Meanwhile, federal health officials say there is not enough data to determine that a booster is needed right now.

While researchers hash it all out, Dr. Pothof says people shouldn’t worry.

“It’s not uncommon to see a study that says maybe we need a booster and others that say maybe we’ll be okay. It really is the job of scientists to put these studies together and get a good understanding of when that booster might be needed,” said Pothof.

If a third shot is needed health care professionals will likely be the first to know since they were among the first to get vaccinated.

For now, Pothof says anyone fully vaccinated should feel confident they’re protected.

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