Are COVID-19 boosters the same as the original vaccines?

National News
Virus Outbreak-Viral Questions-Boosters

Are COVID-19 boosters the same as the original vaccines? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

NEW YORK (AP) — Are COVID-19 boosters the same as the original vaccines?

Yes, COVID-19 boosters use the same recipe as the original shots, despite the emergence of the more contagious delta variant. The vaccines weren’t tweaked to better match delta because they’re still working well.

The vaccines work by training your body to recognize and fight the spike protein that coats the coronavirus and helps it invade the body’s cells. Delta’s mutations fortunately weren’t different enough to escape detection.

The increased protection you might get from a booster adjusted to better match the delta or other variants would be marginal, says Dr. Paul Goepfert, director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Manufacturing doses with a new formula would have also delayed the rollout of boosters.

Moderna and Pfizer are studying boosters tweaked for the delta and other variants to be ready if one’s ever needed. Health authorities would have to decide if and when a vaccine formula swap would be worthwhile.

“What we don’t know,” Goepfert noted, “is if you have a delta vaccine compared to the regular vaccine, does it actually work better in preventing transmission or asymptomatic infection?”

The U.S. has authorized booster doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for certain people, and a few other countries also are using boosters of those shots or other COVID-19 vaccines.

______

The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:

What’s the latest advice on the type of mask I should wear?

Can I get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time?

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest Political News

More Politics

Latest Local News

See More Local News

Latest State News

See More State News

Featured on KXNET.COM

More Don't Miss

KX News Trending Stories