Speed Reads

the great booster debate

How COVID boosters could be deepening vaccine skepticism

COVID-19 boosters have arrived — and with them, of course, plenty of debate. While health and administration officials reportedly remain at odds over the proper timeline in which to roll out third doses, unvaccinated hold-outs stand steadfast in their relunctance, writes The New York Times, perhaps even hardening in their skepticism thanks to the "mixed messages" from the booster campaign.

"It seems like such a short time and people are already having to get boosters," said Christopher Poe, an unvaccinated manufacturing worker who grew more skeptical about the shot due to the third-dose discourse. "And the fact that they didn't realize that earlier in the rollout shows me that there could be other questions that could be out there, like the long-term effects."

A September vaccine monitor survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation seemed to echo Poe's concerns. There, 71 percent of unvaccinated respondents said they believe the need for boosters means the vaccines aren't working. Officials also fear parents with young children will feel similarly skittish regarding efficacy when the time comes to inoculate their kids.

The result is "really two different types of campaigns" in the U.S., Dr. Jennifer Avegno, director of the New Orleans health department, told the Times. Physicians are encouring vaccinated the vaccinated to come in for boosters while simulataneously struggling "to defend the need for the third shot to those who have yet to get their first."

Meanwhile, an FDA advisory panel will meet Thursday and Friday to debate booster doses of both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, CNBC reports. Currently, only Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine has been authorized for use.

As of Saturday, over 7 million Americans had received a booster dose. Read more at The New York Times and CNBC.