As the Delta variant continues to spread and breakthrough infections are occurring among vaccinated people, momentum is building in some rich countries for giving additional doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to some fully vaccinated people.
Led by Israel, Germany said this week that it would start offering booster shots to some higher-risk citizens. France, Russia and Hungary are doing the same.
The UK has already purchased 60 million extra Pfizer vaccine doses in case vulnerable people need a third shot this fall.
Do we need booster shots?
I'd like to bring in Dr. Doron Melamed, professor of immunology at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
He joins us from Haifa.
As scientists and health authorities in different countries continue to be in disagreement about whether we need boosters, Israel was one of the first, if not the first country to announce that it would give booster doses to the elderly population. Tell me what the situation is like in Israel and what led the authorities there to believe that boosters were necessary?
Israel was an early leader in administering vaccines. Do you have data that shows that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which most of those Israel have been inoculated with, wades over time? By how much and exactly when after their second shot?
The chief of the World Health Organization, however, called for a moratorium on vaccine booster shots, of course, over concerns of vaccine inequality around the world.
What are your thoughts on this? Is it really unnecessary OR will we need a booster shot eventually?
Will a third booster shot protect us from the Delta variant? And what about the emergence of new much more transmissible, more lethal variants? Will boosters be enough or do we need a completely new vaccine?
Dr. Doron Melamed from Haifa, Israel for us tonight. Thank you.