COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Trials Underway at UC Davis

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Will vaccinated people have to roll up their sleeves again?

A select group of patients at UC Davis are getting a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine, as part of a nationwide trial to study the effects of a booster shot.

It comes as Israel announces it will give booster shots to everyone over 60, as concerns over the contagious Delta variant grow worldwide.

60 people rolled up their sleeves again.

Some received a booster shot. Others got a placebo. Dr. Timothy Albertson of UC Davis is overseeing the clinical trial and said the same side effects are showing up again.

“There’s a been few complaints about sore arms and low grade fevers, feeling a little punk for the day after,” he said.

Albertson added that there are no signs of serious side effects so far.

The CDC said a majority of vaccinated Americans received the Pfizer shot, with more than 191 million doses given so far.

On Wednesday, Pfizer reported that the power of its two-dose vaccine declines slightly every two months. So how long will the antibodies remain in people’s immune system before they need a booster shot?

“That’s why we’re doing the study. To answer that question, Albertson added.

When he’s not overseeing the clinical trial, Dr. Albertson is treating COVID patients, some who end up in the ICU.

“I’m extremely worried about the Delta variant, extremely worried about patients who are not vaccinated for fear they will be the place where the next variant comes from,” he added.

Israeli health officials tell NBC News they will start to give booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine to people over 60, starting Sunday. Dr. Albertson believes that could be in our future, possibly as soon as the fall.

“There is really good evidence that this virus can mutate quickly and has an amazing ability to stay in the environment. We’ll probably getting yearly vaccinations, would be my prediction,” Albertson said.

The CDC says it doesn’t recommend a COVID-19 booster shot at this time, and is awaiting more data.

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