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COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Department of Environmental Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-806 Poznań, Poland
Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN),, Tehran 1417614411, Iran
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Collegium Medicum, Warsaw Faculty of Medicine, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Infectious Diseases and Hepatology, Medical University of Bialystok, 15-540 Białystok, Poland
Biosystems and Environmental Engineering Research Group, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare P.O. Box MP167, Zimbabwe
Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-Communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 8174673441, Iran
PROVIDI Lab, Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands
Instituto de Matemáticas, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Department of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Marmara University School of Medicine, 34854 Istanbul, Turkey
Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung 404332, Taiwan
Center for Research on Self and Identity, School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI 02905, USA
Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3SY, UK
International Relations Office, Kharkiv National Medical University, 61000 Kharkiv, Ukraine
Research Center for Immunodeficiencies, Children’s Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417614411, Iran
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417614411, Iran
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ralph A. Tripp, Steven B. Bradfute and Scott Anthony
Vaccines 2021, 9(11), 1299;
Received: 8 October 2021 / Revised: 4 November 2021 / Accepted: 5 November 2021 / Published: 9 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
Pursuing vaccinations against COVID-19 brings hope to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and remains the most rational decision under pandemic conditions. However, it does not come without challenges, including temporary shortages in vaccine doses, significant vaccine inequity, and questions regarding the durability of vaccine-induced immunity that remain unanswered. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 has undergone evolution with the emergence of its novel variants, characterized by enhanced transmissibility and ability to at least partially evade neutralizing antibodies. At the same time, serum antibody levels start to wane within a few months after vaccination, ultimately increasing the risk of breakthrough infections. This article discusses whether the administration of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines is urgently needed to control the pandemic. We conclude that, at present, optimizing the immunity level of wealthy populations cannot come at the expense of low-income regions that suffer from vaccine unavailability. Although the efficiency of vaccination in protecting from infection may decrease over time, current data show that efficacy against severe disease, hospitalization, and death remains at a high level. If vaccine coverage continues at extremely low levels in various regions, including African countries, SARS-CoV-2 may sooner or later evolve into variants better adapted to evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity, ultimately bringing a global threat that, of course, includes wealthy populations. We offer key recommendations to increase vaccination rates in low-income countries. The pandemic is, by definition, a major epidemiological event and requires looking beyond one’s immediate self-interest; otherwise, efforts to contain it will be futile. View Full-Text
Keywords: immunology; pandemic; massive vaccinations; vaccine inequity; SARS-CoV-2 immunology; pandemic; massive vaccinations; vaccine inequity; SARS-CoV-2
MDPI and ACS Style

Rzymski, P.; Camargo, C.A., Jr.; Fal, A.; Flisiak, R.; Gwenzi, W.; Kelishadi, R.; Leemans, A.; Nieto, J.J.; Ozen, A.; Perc, M.; Poniedziałek, B.; Sedikides, C.; Sellke, F.; Skirmuntt, E.C.; Stashchak, A.; Rezaei, N. COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Vaccines 2021, 9, 1299.

AMA Style

Rzymski P, Camargo CA Jr., Fal A, Flisiak R, Gwenzi W, Kelishadi R, Leemans A, Nieto JJ, Ozen A, Perc M, Poniedziałek B, Sedikides C, Sellke F, Skirmuntt EC, Stashchak A, Rezaei N. COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Vaccines. 2021; 9(11):1299.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rzymski, Piotr, Carlos A. Camargo Jr., Andrzej Fal, Robert Flisiak, Willis Gwenzi, Roya Kelishadi, Alexander Leemans, Juan J. Nieto, Ahmet Ozen, Matjaž Perc, Barbara Poniedziałek, Constantine Sedikides, Frank Sellke, Emilia C. Skirmuntt, Anzhela Stashchak, and Nima Rezaei. 2021. "COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" Vaccines 9, no. 11: 1299.

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