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Worried about COVID-19 booster shots? Experts say there's no need to rush

Experts say there is no need to try and "jump the line" to get a COVID-19 booster.

As the U.S. prepares plans to administer booster shots to many Americans starting next month, some are concerned that people will try and “skip the line” to get their next dose.

However, health experts say that rushing to get that third dose, may not be necessary.

Dr. Erik Hefti, the Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Harrisburg University, says "I wouldn’t recommend anyone jumping the gun on anything – I always stick with what the FDA recommends."

Currently, the FDA is only recommending a booster dose after the 8 month mark of a two-dose vaccine series of Pfizer or Moderna.

While during the initial rollout of vaccines this past year, many were clamoring to get their first dose, Dr. Hefti says, it's not the same this time around. He noted the FDA is rolling out this plan, not because the vaccines aren't effective, but as a way to stay ahead of the virus.

"The idea of the booster shot is to have it ready to go...so that if we do see that waning immunity – we can immediately jump in and there won't be a gap...and that’s going to be critical in the fall."

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy reiterated the sentiment in an interview this week saying, "We are not recommending that you go out and get a booster today." 

Murthy also noted that the third dose would not have been recommended if the FDA didn't believe it also had merit. "We would not execute a plan if the FDA did not weigh in and say that that third shot was, in fact, safe."

Dr. Hefti agrees.

"Currently, at least with the mRNA vaccines...they’re still holding up pretty darn well....and provide good protection from all indications against the delta variant...boosters have been effective at stimulating the immune system when that original immune response starts to wane – but that’s not what the evidence shows, and again we still see good protection."

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