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FACT FINDERS: You may not need the COVID-19 booster, yet

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:31 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Why are many health officials saying we don’t need a COVID-19 booster shot, at least not yet?

Many health experts, along with our local immunobiology expert at the University of Arizona Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, said the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine isn’t waning several months after being vaccinated.

Bhattacharya explained what’s happening in our bodies that allows the vaccine to be so effective, even with the variants.

”There’s a new study showing that after the Pfizer vaccine, the cells that produce antibodies will continue to evolve long after the vaccine is given,” he said. “So what it does is it really broadens out the range of things that these antibodies can see and makes it a lot less likely that a single mutation is going to allow escape from vaccine-induced immunity.”

Bhattacharya said when we do eventually need another shot, it won’t be all of a sudden and a mad rush to figure it out. He said we’re doing a good job at genomic sequencing so we know what the virus is doing and we can anticipate what’s needed.

”Eventually, we’re going to run out of ground, I’m sure of that,” he said. “But I just still don’t think it’s going to happen in a dramatic way for at least a couple of years.”

After a booster, Bhattacharya believes we still won’t need a shot every six to 12 months. He said he just doesn’t see any evidence for that.

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