Moderna CEO Staphane Bancel said people over age 50 will need annual COVID-19 booster shots.
“I could see a world where from 2023 everyone ages 50 and above is boosting every year because protection against the virus wanes over time,” said the CEO during an interview with Reuters on Wednesday (local time). "It's a population that drives hospitalizations and way too many deaths,” he said on the reason for setting the age threshold at 50.
The U.S. is allowing booster shots to high-risk groups and people aged 65 and over who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Those who were vaccinated with Janssen vaccines are all eligible for booster shots as long as they are over 18. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently revised its vaccination guidelines to allow the fourth vaccination for those with a weakened immune system, such as cancer patients and people with organ transplants, according to NBC News on Wednesday. The CDC previously recommended the third vaccination for people with a poor immune system. Now, those who have not built up enough immunity even with the third vaccination can be vaccinated once more.
There is another country that recently allowed booster shots for most of its population, following Israel. The healthcare authorities of Australia approved Pfizer booster shots on Wednesday for people aged 18 or over who received the second dose of vaccines longer than six months ago. Experts’ opinions vary on the benefits of booster shots. Reuters reported that while there is a series of study results that showed antibodies, which decreased over time after vaccination, increased with booster shots, some claim that broad-range booster shots are unnecessary, except for patients with a weakened immune system.
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