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When to anticipate Pfizer, Moderna 'booster shots'

WHAM – Rochester logo WHAM – Rochester 4/17/2021 Natalie Kucko

Canandaigua, N.Y. - The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna announced potential plans this week for booster shots of their respective COVID-19 vaccines. 

Moderna could make those doses available by the fall. 

Locally, researches have found both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be over 90 percent effective in preventing the coronavirus over the course of six months. 

“A lot of people will ask questions like, 'What do you mean by 90 percent, and essentially it means you still can get infected with the virus, but the degree to which you become ill is marginally reduced," said Dr. Ed Walsh of Rochester Regional Health. 

Dr. Walsh says experts are looking ahead to the evaluation of nine months. 

Pfizer's CEO said Thursday a booster shot of the vaccine, or a third dose, will likely be needed within 12 months of being fully vaccinated. 

"I'm sure, like everything, boosters might be something that years down the road or every year, it's something like the flu vaccine. I’m sure it might be similar and we’re certainly prepared for that," said Steven Fuller, who was getting vaccinated in Canandaigua Thursday. 

However, booster shots are still being looked into by local doctors. 

“That’s still not worked out. We don’t know that timeframe at this point. Perhaps, a year from now. We’re looking into it," said Dr. Walsh. 

Meanwhile, University of Rochester Medical Center has begun testing booster shots in a select group of participants who took part in the initial Pfizer trial there. 


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