Pfizer announces plans to study if 3rd vaccine dose needed to protect against variants

JACKSONVILLE,Fla. — COVID-19 variants are raising concerns that the two-dose vaccine series may not be as effective as first thought.

If a third shot is needed, it would be to target those variants.

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In South Africa, the rollout of AstraZeneca’s vaccine was put on pause after an Oxford study showed it offered reduced protection from the variant there.

“There is a bit of a time crunch we really need to get these vaccinations before these variants take the present COVID we have been treating and dealing with,” Dr. Michelle Aquino said.

As supply continues to be an issue in the United States, another vaccine dose would mean millions of additional doses would need to be produced and distributed.

AstraZeneca is working with Oxford University to adapt the vaccine against the South African variant so it is ready for a fall delivery if needed.

Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news conference that the state plans to set up at least one site in an underserved community of Jacksonville. Florida is working to secure more doses, with 325,000 coming in this week.

Coronavirus vaccine: County-by-county plan for Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia