People want to know what they can do to keep safe as Covid numbers climb and the more contagious delta strain spreads across the United States. With reports that some vaccines are less effective against delta infection and news that a third booster mRNA shot is being tested and selectively administered in some countries. Some people wonder if they should try to hack more protection by seeking out a third shot on their own or mixing and matching vaccines.
During a press conference on Monday, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, cautioned those who are “voluntarily thinking about [receiving] an additional dose.” However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration all concur that fully vaccinated Americans do not require a booster dose at this time.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said, “Virtually all Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths in United States are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” First, because the second dose of a two-dose regimen is connected with more severe side effects, there’s a probability that a third dose could also be linked to a higher risk of adverse reactions, according to Butler, who spoke at an Infectious Diseases Society of America briefing on Tuesday. At this point, there isn’t enough information to say whether or not that is the case.