Stephen Thomas, MD, directs Upstate's Institute for Global Health and Translational Science and specializes in infectious disease.
Vaccine boosters and third doses: Why they are needed
Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are coming, and this is a common component of vaccines for other diseases as well, explains Stephen Thomas, MD, a specialist in infectious disease at Upstate. He discusses third doses of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those with suppressed immune systems, and why healthy vaccinated people would need a booster. Research is still being done on whether a booster will be recommended for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Thomas also stresses the vaccines’ overall effectiveness, noting that among COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths, the vast majority are unvaccinated. He also speaks to the need to keep vaccinating more people to defeat the virus, including those younger than 12, who he hopes will be cleared to receive vaccines before long. Thomas directs Upstate’s Institute for Global Health and Translational Science and oversaw vaccine trials for the Pfizer vaccine.