(Headline USA) Vaccine experts are questioning pharmaceutical companies’ requests to authorize another round of COVID-19 booster shots, arguing that a fourth booster shot is not yet necessary.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have submitted requests to the Food and Drug Administration to administer another round of booster shots to adults, which would bring the total to four, despite recent studies that prove additional shots do nothing to reduce the likeliness of infection from COVID-19.
“I think our data suggests that [fourth doses] are protecting — they are improving dramatically the protection, the fourth dose compared to the third for omicron after some time, after, let’s say, three to six months,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said recently.
Many experts, however, including those who sit on the FDA’s vaccine advisory board, are saying a fourth shot is not necessary.
“The issue of a fourth dose is not on the current agenda because two doses and a booster are working very well,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who also advises the FDA, according to the Washington Examiner.
Another vaccine expert, Dr. Lisa Morici, who works for Tulane University, said increasing the number of booster shots for adults could actually make controlling the virus more difficult.
“This has a lot of experts concerned that perhaps if we keep boosting with the original design to the spike protein over and over again, the more this virus drifts and changes, we may be less likely to recognize it or not respond as well to new versions,” she said.
The FDA has agreed to hold a meeting on April 6 about whether to approve another booster shot.
“Now is the time to discuss the need for future boosters as we aim to move forward safely, with COVID-19 becoming a virus like others such as influenza that we prepare for, protect against, and treat,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s vaccine safety division.