HOUSTON - You might not be as protected as you think with the COVID-19 shot, which is why there’s a debate on whether a booster is needed now.
Moderna just releasing data on so-called breakthrough cases saying they support the push for Covid-19 booster shots. New Pfizer data makes the case that a booster shot is needed six months after the primary dose.
Both drugmakers are relying on data heavily from Europe and Israel.
Dr. Luis Ostrosky is an infectious disease specialist at UT Health explaining why we don’t have data in the United States.
"Our healthcare system is a little bit more disjointed than other places that have socialized medicine and have medical records for every single person that is reported to the government," he said.
It’s one of the reasons why the FDA has remained neutral on whether to get the shot.
"We still have not finished the regulatory process to do that. FDA and CDC sort of put their breaks and said the data looks really good, but you need us to do our job and review the data at the level we normally review data," he said. "I think they should wait a little bit more. Let the agencies do their work. Let the pharmaceutical companies present the information that they have. When everyone has seen all the data that they need to see, by all means, get the booster."
Microbiologist Amber Schmidtke of the University Of Saint Mary agrees.
"There is some evidence there may be waning immunity, so in some context, it might make sense to do those boosters. For example, people who are immunocompromised, people who are healthcare workers, who were among the first to be vaccinated. But, for the general population, I’m not sure the data is there yet," said Schmidtke. "I think we would be better served by making sure that doses go to people who have never seen a vaccine dose, before in some ways than vaccinating people who are already fully vaccinated, but I understand also the desire to try to protect yourself when it seems like diseases are out of control."
The booster rollout is expected to start September 20, which is when anyone can get a booster shot, but it hinges on the FDA's decision, which is expected to be announced Friday.
FOX 26 reached out to Harris County Public Health, and they say, if the FDA approves, they will be ready to administer the booster shots starting next week.