Harry Wilmerding on September 10, 2021
A leading scientist behind the AstraZeneca vaccine said that COVID-19 booster shots may not be necessary for the majority of people, according to an article published by The Telegraph on Thursday.
Sarah Gilbert, a professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, told The Telegraph that immunity from the vaccine is “lasting well in the majority of people,” even against the delta variant, but Gilbert said she believes a third shot may be necessary for the elderly or immunocompromised.
“As the virus spreads between people, it mutates and adapts and evolves, like the delta variant. With these outbreaks, we want to stop that as quickly as possible,” Gilbert told The Telegraph.
“We will look at each situation; the immunocompromised and elderly will receive boosters. But I don’t think we need to boost everybody,” she said.
Gilbert’s remarks come as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, the United Kingdom’s vaccine advisory committee, is expected to decide if citizens should receive a third COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the Associated Press.
Britain’s medical regulator approved the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines as boosters on Thursday, according to The Telegraph. British health officials said on Sept. 1 that those with weak or compromised immune systems may receive the third shot, according to Reuters.
Gilbert argues that the world’s priority right now should be sending vaccines to countries that are low on supplies, according to the Telegraph.
“We need to get vaccines to countries where few of the population have been vaccinated so far,” Gilbert told The Telegraph.
“We have to do better in this regard. The first dose has the most impact,” Gilbert added.
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