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FACT FINDERS: COVID-19 Booster Shot Controversy

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The FDA’s vote against Pfizer’s booster shots for most people is having a big effect on not just America but the world. In fact, there is a heated controversy surrounding giving vaccinated people a boost verses giving unvaccinated people their first shot.

Pfizer says vaccine efficacy is waning after around six months of being fully vaccinated so they believe a booster is needed.

However, in August, the World Health Organization called for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September. They argue our vaccine supply could save more lives if we do not use them as boosters just yet but rather give them to people around the world who are not vaccinated.

As we have learned in this pandemic, what happens in other countries does not necessarily stay there, so other countries’ vaccination rates are important. For example, the Delta variant now spreading across America was first detected in India. Beyond that. local Immunobiologist Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya questions how beneficial a booster really is right now.

”From a purely scientific standpoint, the added benefit of getting a previously unvaccinated person their shots is much greater than handing out boosters where we’re really not sure how much it’ll help. So, let’s say the estimates that Singapore has are right, which is about 80% effectiveness, and you get a booster and then it becomes 85%. Is that really worth it?” he asked.

However, Dr. Bhattacharya says it is more complicated than that. For example, he says if we have vaccines about to expire, putting them in an arm is better than in the trash.

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