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Why COVID-19 Booster Shots Could Widen the Vaccination Gap

With COVID-19 vaccine opponents pointing to the use of booster shots to argue that they’re ineffective, Dr. Robert Klitzman, Director of Columbia’s Bioethics M.S. program, is calling on “political leaders, the FDA, public health officials... to figure out how to communicate about our ever-altering knowledge on Covid and its prevention, and how science often entails uncertainties.” In an op-ed for CNN, he explains that the combination of a public misunderstanding of science and the rapidly-changing guidance issued by scientists and researchers sows confusion and deepens mistrust especially among the 66 million Americans who are not vaccinated.

Critics argue that companies like Moderna have placed profits before global public health needs, causing vaccines to only be sold to wealthier countries. With parts of the public already wary of the vaccine, companies should remember to make sure data supports their arguments for future booster shots, Dr. Klitzman argued. Dr. Klitzman summarizes, “the medical community, political leaders and others need to not only assess the ever-expanding and evolving data about boosters, but determine how best to present their decisions in ways that can ultimately enhance the health of individuals on both sides of our nation's growing vaccine divide.”

Read Dr. Robert Klitzman’s CNN article here