JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Clinical trials are underway in Jacksonville for a third COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Late last year, there was speculation of COVID-19 vaccinations becoming seasonal. Researchers now are testing booster shots.
Dr. Michael Koren, of Encore Research Group, said they want to see if a third dose will make it less likely for someone to spread and carry the coronavirus.
“We know that viruses in general mutate, and certainly COVID-19 has mutated,” Koren said. “So the question is, do you need to adjust the vaccines as time goes on?”
A recent surge of the delta variant in the Jacksonville area is creating long lines at COVID-19 testing sites.
Raneisha Russum, who is fully vaccinated, said that if officials recommend another dose, she’ll take it.
“I’ll do what I have to do because I’m looking at the line for those out here trying to get tested for COVID compared to those with the vaccine. I’d rather be in the shorter line,” Russum said.
Like Russum, some people got vaccinated earlier this year.
On Thursday, Moderna announced its COVID-19 vaccine remains 93% effective as much as six months after the second dose. The company also is testing a potential booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine, saying its booster candidates show “robust antibody responses” to COVID-19 variants.
Pfizer’s CEO said its COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness drops to 84% after six months. He said they’re confident “a third dose will take up the immune response to protect against the delta variant.”
Infectious disease experts told Reuters that a booster shot of another COVID-19 vaccine may be needed for those who got the Johnson & Johnson shot.
“I have some groups of patients that are still very hesitant to get one dose of a vaccine, and others that want to get their third dose immediately or fourth dose,” Koren said. “So there’s no information that getting more and more doses protects you better and better.”
Koren said there is no information right now to say that people need a third dose because that’s what is being studied. His research group is part of Pfizer’s project and the group may be involved in Moderna’s project soon.
The World Health Organization wants to delay booster shots to allow at least 10% of the population in every country to be vaccinated.