Top scientists question the need for COVID-19 booster shots - (Yahoo!News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Scientists are questioning COVID-19 vaccine developers claims that the world will need yearly booster doses, as reported Yahoo!News on Thursday.

  • "We don't see the data yet that would inform a decision about whether or not booster doses are needed," said Kate O'Brien, director of the department of immunization, vaccines and biologicals at the World Health Organization, adding that the WHO is creating an expert panel to assess all variant and vaccine efficacy data and recommend changes to vaccination programmes as needed.

  • Responding to the criticism, a Pfizer spokeswoman said the company expects a need for booster doses while the virus is still circulating widely, which could change once the pandemic is more firmly under control

  • Moderna President Stephen Hoge said that as long as the virus is circulating widely, people at high risk of severe illness may need to boost their immune protection, adding that "all governments are in conversations with (Moderna) and other companies about boosters."

  • Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that "it's quite possible" that boosters would not be needed, adding that "it is conceivable that the variants will not be as much a problem with a really good vaccine as we might have anticipated."

  • Rajeev Venkayya, head of global vaccines for Takeda, said that it is a concern that "wealthy countries would begin administering booster doses and further constraining supply of people's first dose of vaccine."

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