Why COVID Boosters Weren’t Tweaked To Better Match Variants

FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo shows vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a temporary clinic in Exeter, N.H. In September, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved extra doses of Pfizer’s original COVID-19 vaccine after studies showed it still works well enough against the delta variant. And the FDA is weighing evidence for boosters of the original Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP) – COVID-19 booster shots are an extra dose of the original vaccine, and some experts wonder why they weren’t updated to better match the delta variant. With the extra-contagious delta now the dominant version of the virus, experts say future mutants likely will be its descendants. Vaccine makers didn’t ask to change the recipe for booster doses, saying the original shots still work against delta. But Pfizer and Moderna are testing tweaked formulas. Scientists say it’s important to learn how the immune system reacts to a subtly different booster in case it’s eventually needed.

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