FACT FINDERS: Delta-matched booster being developed

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:45 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With news of everyone needing a COVID-19 booster after eight months, some are wondering about a booster that’s more tailored to the delta variant.

The current booster is a third shot of the same mRNA vaccine you already got. However, Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya with the University of Arizona says work is being done right now to make a booster specifically designed to ward off Delta.

”I know that Pfizer and Moderna are both planning to have a Delta-matched variant sometime I think either toward the end of this year or very early in 2022,” he said.

So, some may consider waiting for this shot. However, Dr. Bhattacharya says for those who are immunocompromised waiting is not something he recommends. He says the time while you are waiting for the Delta booster to become available makes you extremely vulnerable. He simply does not think it is worth the risk.

He says while he is certain a Delta-matched booster will work better than a third dose of the same thing, the Delta variant is not so different from the original strain that the current shots won’t provide some protection. Just how well the current boosters work is in question. He says those numbers vary depending on which country’s study you look at. He says some countries are finding it’s almost 90% effective while others believe it’s around 40% effective.

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