A US health official said Tuesday that the country is studying the need for a third COVID-19 booster shot among citizens who have previously been vaccinated, but more data is needed to determine whether extra doses might increase people’s risk of serious side effects.
According to the official, the second dosage of a two-shot COVID-19 vaccination regimen was linked to a higher rate of adverse effects, implying that a third treatment might pose even larger dangers.
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“We’re keenly interested in knowing whether or not a third dose may be associated with any higher risk of adverse reactions, particularly some of those more severe – although very rare – side effects,” said Jay Butler, deputy director at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a media briefing.
The US government has not decided whether or not to provide booster shot, but Butler believes that the elderly and other people at high risk of serious illness may benefit from it.
Based on evidence indicating a higher risk of infection six months after inoculation and the development of the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus, Pfizer and BioNTech intend to ask US authorities in the coming weeks to approve a booster dosage of their COVID-19 vaccine.
Butler said he hasn’t observed any signs of COVID-19 immunity decreasing in Americans who received their shots in December or January.
He also stated that current vaccines offer considerable protection against the Delta strain of COVID-19, which was initially discovered in India and has now become the most common strain in the United States.
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