COVID booster vaccine: ‘Definitely need a third shot,’ doctor says

Coronavirus

NEW JERSEY — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing to fully approve Pfizer’s two-dose coronavirus vaccine.

That approval could happen as early as Monday, according to the New York Times.

The vaccine has been distributed under emergency-use authorization, and full approval is expected to help put vaccine mandates on firmer legal footing.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark, said a full FDA approval “would be huge” for doctors and patients.

“We’ve been calling for this for many weeks,” as many people who are hesitant about getting vaccinated have said they’re waiting for FDA approval before doing so,  Elnahal told PIX11 News.

“It’s a huge potential for our community and really every community to increase vaccine confidence,” he said.

As we wait for full FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine, Americans will soon be eligible to receive a third booster shot about eight months after their second shot.

According to Elnahal, “there’s a collective realization that we definitely need a third shot,” citing a study in Israel that showed people who got a third dose had four to five times higher benefit against hospitalization and deaths. 

Despite concerns that the booster may not be effective against certain variants, Elnahal acknowledged data could be confusing, but the vaccine will, overall, provide a benefit to people.

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