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IU Health doctor weighs in on possible 4th Pfizer shot for general population

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — First, it was a two-dose series.

Then came a third in the form of a booster.

Now, scientists at Pfizer are saying the general population may need to layer on yet another shot for optimal protection after being boosted.

This raises the question: If so many doses of the vaccine are needed in such a short time frame, are they really vaccines? Or just temporary therapeutics?

News 8 spoke with Dr. Nick Barros, infectious disease specialist at IU Health, who says these shots are vaccines, but it’s possible we haven’t found the right dose just yet.

“It may be that we need four doses for people who are going to be heavily exposed or definitely at least for the immunocompromised, which is a population that does not even mount enough response from three doses,” Barros said. “We’re talking about 70% who do respond, and about 30% who don’t respond; they’re the ones who need a booster.”

However, Barros says for most people it seems three doses are enough for now, but in the future things might be different. Scientists won’t know how many recurring vaccines will be needed until the next COVID-19 variant emerges.