In a paper published in the Lancet, experts warned there could be risks to boosters if they are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently, especially with vaccines that can have immune-mediated side-effects.
Current evidence on COVID vaccines does not appear to support a need for booster shots in the general public right now, according to an international team of vaccine scientists, including some from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe disease remains high,” Marion Gruber and Phil Krause, two senior FDA vaccine leaders, wrote in an opinion piece published Monday in the Lancet.
The scientists said the benefits of COVID vaccination outweigh the risks, but there could be risks to boosters if they are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently, “especially with vaccines that can have immune-mediated side-effects (such as myocarditis, which is more common after the second dose of some mRNA vaccines, or Guillain-Barre syndrome, which has been associated with adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccines).”
“If unnecessary boosting causes significant adverse reactions, there could be implications for vaccine acceptance that go beyond COVID-19 vaccines. Thus, widespread boosting should be undertaken only if there is clear evidence that it is appropriate,” the scientists wrote.