Is it safe to get a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

Coronavirus Vaccine

DAYTON, Ohio (NewsNation Now) — The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not recommended COVID-19 booster shots yet, but that has not stopped some from seeking them out.

Health care providers in the U.S. have reported more than 900 instances of people getting a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines in a database run by the CDC.

Dr. Nancy Pook, Attending Emergency Physician with Kettering Health, is warning against this.

“It is best to stick with the guidelines under the Emergency Use Authorization. Stick with the science as it’s been tested,” she said.

Her reasoning: there is still research to be finalized.

“None of these vaccines went out without significant research. So to go outside of any of those protocols is really not recommended because you don’t have any of that important data to tell you; maybe you’ll be better protected from the virus, but maybe you potentially have a higher risk of some other side effect,” explained Dr. Pook.

Pfizer has announced its plans to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for booster shots, and Moderna said they could be necessary later this year. Clinical trials and laboratory research are still being done.

The latest information on the Department of Health and Human Services website says, as of July 2021, Americans who have been fully vaccinated don’t need a booster shot at this time. It also says the FDA, CDC, and the NIH are “engaged in a science-based, rigorous process” to determine whether or when a booster may be necessary.

“If that is the case, then we’ll know at that time to do that…when it’s safe,” Pook said.

The HHS said if booster shots are needed, they are prepared with enough vaccine supply to distribute them.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WDTN contributed to this report.

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