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Fourth in the Future?

By Darsh Mirchandani

There is a variety of opinions across the country when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. These opposing opinions include topics such as the efficacy of the vaccines, how the vaccine should be distributed and one of the more commonly discussed, the number of times people should receive the vaccine. Recently, the possibility of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose has been up in the air. While the fourth shot has been approved for ages 50 and over, there have been questions about the necessity of a fourth, as well as questions about its efficacy, especially in youth.

“As the FDA reviews data on the fourth vaccine dose, only time will tell whether it will be approved...”

“I believe that a fourth vaccine dose is necessary, but likely only for immunocompromised and elderly patients, who are more at risk for developing serious complications to COVID-19. With hospitalizations in the United States being down all across the board, I don't think the time is right for a fourth dose. Truthfully, I just don't believe there is enough data to draw a definite conclusion about a fourth dose,” freshman Asmita Saha said.

Many experts agree that there may not be a need for a fourth dose in ages below 50. Experts also say that there is no clear evidence of need for a fourth dose and that it might not be economically feasible for the United States to implement and distribute it.

Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie

News spreads as the FDA seeks approval for the fourth vaccine dose.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zients, said that the United States currently does not have enough money for a fourth dose, as well as other tools used to fight the pandemic. The White House is currently waiting for congress to pass more funding for the COVID-19 response. But House Democrats cut more COVID-19 response funding from a 15 billion in coronavirus funding.

“Although the mask mandate has been lifted, I still think that we, as the whole world, need to still be relatively cautious in order to prevent another resurgence. With the little data available right now, I don’t think that a fourth dose would be appropriate. Even if there was significant research, I think that the fourth dose should only be encouraged, to better protect those who are immunocompromised, not mandated,” freshman Clayton Yu said.

As restrictions are easing all around the country, the need for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been called into question. This is due in part to a lack of data supporting a fourth dose, as well as people just being fatigued due to the pandemic. As the FDA reviews data on the fourth vaccine dose, only time will tell whether it will be approved, or even possibly mandated for the broader American public.


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