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COVID boosters may be needed for full vaccination, expert says

The coronavirus vaccine may soon be a three-dose vaccine instead of only two doses

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Registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

A registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in the Staten Island borough of New York on April 8, 2021.

Mary Altaffer, Associated Press

The coronavirus vaccine may soon become a three-dose vaccine, meaning Americans will need three shots to be considered fully vaccinated, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said over the weekend.

Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS “Face the Nation” that “at some point” Americans who received the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated when they get their third doses.

  • “I think eventually this will be considered the three-dose vaccine, but I would be hard-pressed to believe CDC is going to make that recommendation anytime soon,” said Gottlieb. 

However, Gottlieb said on CBS “Face the Nation” it’s unlikely the CDC will move quickly to make that the rule since there’s an ongoing debate about whether everyone should get a third dose.

However, Gottlieb said some businesses could start to require it.

  • “I think in cases where entities are going to mandate three doses for people who are six months out from the second dose, they’re doing that because they’re using the vaccine as a way to control transmission and try to end this pandemic,” Gottlieb said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, said last week that three shots may become the standard, too, since the third shot can help boost waning immunity, per the Deseret News.

  • “The somewhat unnerving aspect of it is that if you keep the level of dynamics of the virus in the community at a high level — obviously the people who are most vulnerable are the unvaccinated — but when you have a virus as transmissible as delta, in the context of waning immunity, that dynamic is going to negatively impact even the vaccinated people. So it’s a double whammy,” Fauci said, per ABC News.