Dr. Siegel on ‘America's Newsroom’: COVID booster shot will 'benefit' people over age 60

DR. MARC SIEGEL: And there’s a lot of confusion, but one thing I want to tell you, at least the FDA brought in their advisory group this time. They may not do it with the five-to-11-year-old group. Why do I like that so much? I talked to Paul Offit, who’s a senior member of that committee, and he’s one of the top vaccinologists in the country. I talked to him yesterday. He said, you know, it’s very clear that there’s a benefit over the age of 60. I said, why 65? He said, well, it could have been 60. So over the age of 60, you’re seeing some benefit. And there’s 22 million Americans who have been more than six months out, and half of them are over the age of 65, by the way, they’re going to qualify if they got the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.


Now here’s where the confusion comes from, Trace. What does it mean that you need a booster? What does it actually mean? Because what they’re actually measuring is risks of mild infections, and does your antibody level go down? But you know what? You have a memory of having had that vaccine and that ramps up when you see the virus. So that protects you against severe illness and hospitalization. So there’s no reason to think the vaccine doesn’t work beyond six months. It’s just not quite as effective. And we want to prevent spread. That’s the other thing. So you give a booster, you decrease your risk of spread, you decrease your risk of severe illness. We don’t know how long that lasts. The Israel data is only a few weeks out. We don’t know if that boost we give you is going to last and endure. The vaccine itself will endure. But again, it can diminish over time.”


FOX Business’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report. 

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